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Use the PowerShell Provider for Extended Events

SQL Server 2012

You can manage SQL Server Extended Events by using the SQL Server PowerShell provider. The XEvent subfolder is available under the SQLSERVER drive. You can access the folder by using either of the following methods:

  • At a command prompt, type sqlps, and then press ENTER. Type cd xevent, and then press ENTER. From there, you can use the cd and dir commands (or Set-Location and Get-Childitem cmdlets) to navigate to the server name and instance name.

  • In Object Explorer, expand the instance name, expand Management, right-click Extended Events, and then click Start PowerShell. This starts PowerShell in the following path:

    PS SQLSERVER:\XEvent\ServerName\InstanceName>

    Note Note

    You can start PowerShell from any node under Extended Events. For example, you can right-click Sessions, and then click Start PowerShell. This starts PowerShell one level deeper, at the Sessions folder.

You can browse the XEvent folder tree to view existing Extended Events sessions and their associated events, targets and predicates. For example, from the PS SQLSERVER:\XEvent\ServerName\InstanceName> path, if you type cd sessions, press ENTER, type dir, and then press ENTER, you can see the list of sessions that are stored on that instance. You can also view whether the session is running (and if this is the case, for how long), and whether the session is configured to start when the instance starts.

To view the events, their predictates, and the targets that are associated with a session, you can change directories to the session name, and then view either the events or targets folder. For example, to view the events and their predicates that are associated with the default system health session, from the PS SQLSERVER:\XEvent\ServerName\InstanceName\Sessions> path, type cd system_health\events, press ENTER, type dir, and then press ENTER.

The SQL Server PowerShell provider is a powerful tool that you can use to create, alter, and manage Extended Events sessions. The following section provides some basic examples of using PowerShell scripts with Extended Events.

In the following examples, note the following:

  • The scripts must be run from the PS SQLSERVER:\> prompt (available by typing sqlps at a command prompt).

  • The scripts use the default instance of SQL Server.

  • The scripts must be saved with a .ps1 extension.

  • The PowerShell execution policy must allow the script to run. To set the execution policy, use the Set-Executionpolicy cmdlet. (For more information, type get-help set-executionpolicy -detailed, and then press ENTER.)

The following script creates a new session that is named 'TestSession'.

#Script for creating a session.
cd XEvent
$h = hostname
cd $h

#Use the default instance.
$store = dir | where {$_.DisplayName -ieq 'default'}
$session = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.XEvent.Session -argumentlist $store, "TestSession"
$event = $session.AddEvent("sqlserver.file_written")
$event.AddAction("package0.callstack")
$session.Create()

The following script adds the ring buffer target to the session that was created in the previous example. (This example shows the use of the Alter method. Be aware that you can add the target when you first create the session.)

#Script to alter a session.
cd XEvent
$h = hostname
cd $h
cd DEFAULT\Sessions

#Used to find the specified session.
$session = dir|where {$_.Name -eq 'TestSession'}

#Add the ring buffer target and call the Alter method.
$session.AddTarget("package0.ring_buffer")
$session.Alter()

The following script creates a new session that uses a predicate expression. In this case, the session collects information for when the c:\temp.log file is written to (through the sqlserver.file_written event).

#Script for creating a session.
cd XEvent
$h = hostname
cd $h

#Use the default instance.
$store = dir | where {$_.DisplayName -ieq 'default'}
$session = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.XEvent.Session -argumentlist $store, "TestSession2"
$event = $session.AddEvent("sqlserver.file_written")

#Construct a predicate "equal_i_unicode_string(path, N'c:\temp.log')".
$column = $store.SqlServerPackage.EventInfoSet["file_written"].DataEventColumnInfoSet["path"]
$operand = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.XEvent.PredOperand -argumentlist $column
$value = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.XEvent.PredValue -argumentlist "c:\temp.log"
$compare = $store.Package0Package.PredCompareInfoSet["equal_i_unicode_string"]
$predicate = new-object Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.XEvent.PredFunctionExpr -argumentlist $compare, $operand, $value
$event.SetPredicate($predicate)
$session.Create()

To create, alter, or drop an Extended Events session, you must have the ALTER ANY EVENT SESSION permission.

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