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Create a Maintenance Plan (Maintenance Plan Design Surface)

This topic describes how to create a single server or multiserver maintenance plan using the Maintenance Plan Design Surface in SQL Server 2014. While the Maintenance Plan Wizard is best for creating basic maintenance plans, creating a plan using the design surface allows you to utilize enhanced workflow.

In This Topic

Limitations and Restrictions

  • To create a multiserver maintenance plan, a multiserver environment containing one master server and one or more target servers must be configured. Multiserver maintenance plans must be created and maintained on the master server. These plans can be viewed, but not maintained, on target servers.

  • Members of the db_ssisadmin and dc_admin roles may be able to elevate their privileges to sysadmin. This elevation of privilege can occur because these roles can modify Integration Services packages; these packages can be executed by SQL Server using the sysadmin security context of SQL Server Agent. To guard against this elevation of privilege when running maintenance plans, data collection sets, and other Integration Services packages, configure SQL Server Agent jobs that run packages to use a proxy account with limited privileges or only add sysadmin members to the db_ssisadmin and dc_admin roles.

Security

Permissions

To create or manage maintenance plans, you must be a member of the sysadmin fixed server role. Object Explorer only displays the Maintenance Plans node for users who are members of the sysadmin fixed server role.

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To create a maintenance plan

  1. In Object Explorer, click the plus sign to expand the server where you want to create a maintenance plan.

  2. Click the plus sign to expand the Management folder.

  3. Right-click the Maintenance Plans folder and select New Maintenance Plan.

  4. In the New Maintenance Plan dialog box, in the Name box, type a name for the plan and click OK. This opens the Toolbox and the maintenance_plan_name [Design] surface with the Subplan_1 subplan created in the main grid.

    The following options are available in the design space's header.

    Add Subplan

    Adds a subplan that you can configure.

    Subplan Properties

    Displays the Subplan Properties dialog box for the selected subplan in the main grid. Alternately, double-click a subplan in the grid to display the Subplan Properties dialog box. See below for more information on this dialog box.

    Delete Selected Subplan

    Deletes the selected subplan.

    Subplan Schedule

    Displays the New Job Schedule dialog box for the selected subplan.

    Remove Schedule

    Removes a schedule from the selected subplan.

    Manage Connections

    Displays the Manage Connections dialog box. Used to add additional SQL Server instance connections to the maintenance plan. See below for more information on this dialog box.

    Reporting and Logging

    Displays the Reporting and Logging dialog box. See below for more information on this dialog box.

    Servers

    Display the Servers dialog box, which is used to select the servers where the subplan tasks will be run. This option is enabled only on master servers in multiserver environments. For more information, see Create a Multiserver Environment and Maintenance Plan (Servers).

    Name

    Display the maintenance plan name. For new maintenance plans, the name is specified in a dialog box before the maintenance plan designer opens. To rename a maintenance plan, right-click the plan in Object Explorer, and then click Rename.

    Description

    View or specify a description for the maintenance plan. The maximum length for a description is 512 characters.

    Designer Surface

    Design and maintain maintenance plans. Use the designer surface to add maintenance tasks to a plan, remove tasks from a plan, specify precedence links between the tasks, and indicate task branching and parallelism.

    A precedence link between two tasks establishes a relationship between the tasks. The second task (the dependent task) executes only if the execution result of the first task (the precedent task) matches specified criteria. Typically the execution result specified is Success, Failure, or Completion. For more information, see step 8 below.

  5. In the design space's header, double-click Subplan_1 and enter a name and description for the subplan in the Subplan Properties dialog box.

    The following options are available in the Subplan Properties dialog box.

    Name

    The name of the subplan.

    Description

    A brief description of the subplan.

    Schedule

    Indicates on what schedule the subplan will be run. Click Subplan Schedule to open the New Job Schedule dialog box. Click Remove Schedule to delete the schedule from the subplan.

    Run as list

    Select the account to use to run this subtask.

  6. Click Subplan Schedule to enter schedule details in the New Job Schedule dialog box.

  7. To build the subplan, drag and drop task flow elements from the Toolbox to the plan design surface. Double-click tasks to open dialog boxes to configure the task options.

    The following maintenance plan tasks are available in the Toolbox:

    • Back up Database Task

    • Check Database Integrity Task

    • Execute SQL Server Agent Job Task

    • Execute T-SQL Statement Task

    • History Cleanup Task

    • Maintenance Cleanup Task

    • Notify Operator Task

    • Rebuild Index Task

    • Reorganize Index Task

    • Shrink Database Task

    • Update Statistics Task

    To add tasks to the Toolbox:

    1. On the Tools menu, click Choose Toolbox Items.

    2. Select the tools you want to appear in the Toolbox, and then click OK.

    Adding maintenance plan tasks to the Toolbox also makes them available in the Maintenance Plan Wizard. For more information on the individual tasks above, see Using SQL Server Management Studio under Start the Maintenance Plan Wizard.

  8. To define a workflow between tasks:

    1. Right-click the precedent task and select Add Precedence Constraint.

    2. In the Control Flow dialog box, in the To list, select the dependent task and click OK.

    3. Double click the connector between the two tasks to open the Precedence Constraint Editor dialog box.

      The following options are available in the Precedence Constraint Editor dialog box.

      Constraint option

      Defines how a constraint works between two tasks.

      Evaluation operation list

      Specify the evaluation operation that the precedence constraint uses. The operations are: Constraint, Expression, Expression and Constraint, and Expression or Constraint.

      Value list

      Specify the constraint value: Success, Failure, or Completion. Success is the default.

      Note Note

      The precedence constraint line is green for Success, red for Failure, and blue for Completion.

      Expression

      If using the operations Expression, Expression and Constraint, or Expression or Constraint, type an expression. The expression must evaluate to a Boolean.

      Test

      Validate the expression.

      Multiple constraints

      Define how multiple constraints interoperate to control the execution of the constrained task.

      Logical AND

      Select to specify that multiple precedence constraints on the same executable must be evaluated together. All constraints must evaluate to True. This option is the default.

      Note Note

      This type of precedence constraint appears as a solid green, red, or blue line.

      Logical OR

      Select to specify that multiple precedence constraints on the same executable must be evaluated together. At least one constraint must evaluate to True.

      Note Note

      This type of precedence constraint appears as a dotted green, red, or blue line.

  9. To add another subplan that contains tasks run on a different schedule, click Add Subplan on the toolbar to open the Subplan Properties dialog box.

  10. To add connections to different servers:

    1. In the design space's toolbar, click Manage Connections.

    2. In the Manage Connections dialog box, click Add.

    3. In the Connection Properties dialog box, in the Connection name box, enter the name of the connection you are creating.

    4. Under Specify the following to connect to SQL Server data, in the Select or enter a server name box, either enter the name of the SQL server you want to use or click the ellipsis (…) and select a server in the SQL Server dialog box. If you select a server from the SQL Server dialog box, click OK.

    5. Under Enter information to log on to the server, select either Use Windows NT Integrated security or Use a specific user name and password. If you elect to use a specific user name and password, enter that information in the User name and Password boxes, respectively.

    6. In the Connection Properties dialog box, click OK.

    7. In the Manage Connections dialog box, click Close.

  11. To specify reporting options:

    1. In the design space's toolbar, click Reporting and Logging.

    2. In the Reporting and Logging dialog box, under Reporting, select Generate a text file report or Send report to an email recipient or both.

      1. If you select Generate a text file report, select either Create a new file or Append to file.

      2. Depending on the selection above, enter the name and full path of the new file or file to be appended by entering the information in the Folder or File name boxes. Alternately, click on the ellipsis (…) and select the path to the folder or file name from the Locate Folder – server_name or Locate Database Files – server_name dialog boxes.

      3. If you select Send report to an email recipient, on the Agent operator list, select the recipient of the emailed report.

        Note Note

        SQL Server Agent must be configured to use Database Mail in order to send mail. For more information, see Configure SQL Server Agent Mail to Use Database Mail

    3. To save more detailed information, under Logging, select Log extended information.

    4. To write maintenance plan results information to another server, select Log to remote server and either select a server connection from the Connection list or click New and enter the connection information in the Connection Properties dialog box.

    5. In the Reporting and Logging dialog box, click OK.

  12. To view the results in the log file viewer, in Object Explorer, right-click either the Maintenance Plans folder or the specific maintenance plan and select View History.

    The following options are available on the Log File Viewer – server_name dialog box.

    Load Log

    Open a dialog box where you can specify a log file to load.

    Export

    Open a dialog box that lets you export the information that is shown in the Log file summary grid to a text file.

    Refresh

    Refresh the view of the selected logs. The Refresh button rereads the selected logs from the target server while applying any filter settings.

    Filter

    Open a dialog box that lets you specify settings that are used to filter the log file, such as Connection, Date, or other General filter criteria.

    Search

    Search the log file for specific text. Searching with wildcard characters is not supported.

    Stop

    Stops loading the log file entries. For example, you can use this option if a remote or offline log file takes a long time to load, and you only want to view the most recent entries.

    Log file summary

    This information panel displays a summary of the log file filtering. If the file is not filtered, you will see the following text, No filter applied. If a filter is applied to the log, you will see the following text, Filter log entries where: <filter criteria>.

    Date

    Displays the date of the event.

    Source

    Displays the source feature from which the event is created, such as the name of the service (MSSQLSERVER, for example). This does not appear for all log types.

    Message

    Displays any messages associated with the event.

    Log Type

    Displays the type of log to which the event belongs. All selected logs appear in the log file summary window.

    Log Source

    Displays a description of the source log in which the event is captured.

    Selected row details

    Select a row to display additional details about the selected event row at the bottom of the page. The columns can be reordered by dragging them to new locations in the grid. The columns can be resized by dragging the column separator bars in the grid header to the left or right. Double-click the column separator bars in the grid header to automatically size the column to the content width.

    Instance

    The name of the instance on which the event occurred. This is displayed as computer name\instance name.

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