Create an Extended Events Session Using the Wizard (Object Explorer)


Applies To: SQL Server 2016

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO:yesSQL Server (starting with 2014)yesAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

Extended events are made easy by the Extended Events > New Session Wizard context menu and dialog in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS.exe). The wizard exposes most of the Extended Events functionality.

The more detailed Extended Events > New Session... dialog exposes all the Extended Events functionality. For more information, see New Session dialog.

To open the New Session Wizard

  1. In the Object Explorer of SSMS, expand your server node, expand the Management node, and then expand Extended Events. Or for Azure SQL Database, the Management node is under your database node.

  2. Right-click Sessions, and then click New Session Wizard.

Use the following New Session Wizard pages to create an event session

On the Introduction page, do the following:

  • On the Introduction page of the New Session Wizard, click Next.

On the Set Session Properties page, do the following:

  • In the Session name box, type a meaningful name for the event session.

    If you want to start the session when you start the server, select the Start the event session at server startup check box, and then click Next.

On the Choose Template page, do the following:

  • Select the Use this event session template option to select from a set of pre-configured templates designed for common problems. Select the template you want to use from the drop-down list, and then click Next.


  • Select the Do not use a template option if you do not want to use any pre-configured template, and then click Next.

On the Select Events to Capture page, do the following:

  1. Select the events you want to capture from the Event library, and then click the right arrow. You can select multiple events in the Event Library by using either Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click.

    You can select how you want to search for the events you want to capture from the drop-down list box. For example, you can search for event names or event names and their descriptions. You can search for any word in the table by entering the text you want to search for in the Event library box. For example, if you want to find the lock_acquired event, you can enter lock, or lock acquire.

    The events you select appear in the Selected events box. To remove events from the Selected events box, click the left arrow.

  2. After you select the events you want to capture, click Next.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    Events from the Debug channel are hidden by default. To display debug events, select Debug from the Channel drop-down list.

You use global fields (also referred to as actions) to associate single or multiple actions for your selected events. If you selected a template on the Choose Template page, all of the global fields that are defined in the template are displayed on this page.

On the Capture Global Fields page, do the following:

  • Select the global fields that you want to capture for the event session, and then click Next.

    You can remove or add global fields by selecting or clearing the check box next to the global field.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    The selected actions are sorted by Name enabling you to view the associated actions in alphabetical order. You can sort by description or by the enable/disable status by clicking the column heading next to the field name.

You can apply filters (also called predicates) to limit the events that you want to capture. On the Set Session Event Filters page, do the following:

  1. If you are not using a pre-configured template, create your filter criteria, and then click Next.

    If you are using a pre-configured template, in the Filters from template (read-only) section, the New Session Wizard lists filters already created from the template.

  2. In the Additional filters section, you can configure additional filters for the event session.

    The filters you configure apply to all selected events. The New Session Wizard does not support configuring filters for each event.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    When you configure a group clause for your filter, redundant parentheses are removed from the filter after the result is saved. For example, if you create a filter grouping Clause 1 and Clause 2, parentheses will appear around the clauses. After you save the filter, the redundant parentheses are removed. The removal of the parentheses does not affect the filter logic.

You use the Specify Session Data Storage page to specify how you want to collect your data for analysis. SQL Server Extended Events uses targets for data output. Targets store event data and can perform actions such as writing to a file and aggregating event data. Decide how you want to collect your data for analysis, and on the Specify Session Data Storage page, do the following:

  1. For large data sets and creating historical records, select the Save data to a file for later analysis check box, and then do the following:

    1. In the File name on server box, enter the path and file name, or click Browse to specify the file directory on the server where you want to save the data.

    2. In the Maximum file size box, specify the maximum file size to be used for the file target. If you do not specify the maximum file size, the file will grow until the disk is full. The default file size is 1 gigabyte (GB).

    3. Select the Enable file rollover check box to enable file rollover for the file target.

    4. In the Maximum number of files box, specify the maximum number of files you want to retain in the file system.

  2. For collecting recent data, select the Work with only the most recent data (ring buffer target) check box, and then do the following:

    1. In the Number of events to keep box, enter or select the number of events you want to keep by using the up and down arrows.

    2. In the Maximum buffer memory size box, specify the maximum amount of buffer memory to use. The existing events are dropped when this value is reached.

    3. If you want to keep a specific number of events of each type in the buffer, select the Keep a specified number of events (per type) when the buffer is full check box.

    4. In the Number of events to keep (per type) box, enter or select the number of events (per type) that you want to keep by using the up and down arrows.

On the Summary page, do the following:

  1. Make sure that your selections are correct. Expand the event session nodes to verify that all of your selections will be included in the event session.

  2. Click Script to export the session creation script to a new Query Editor window.

  3. Click Finish to create the event session.

On the Create Event Session page, after your event session has been successfully created, do the following:

  1. Click Start the event session immediately after session creation to start the session after you close the wizard. You must start the event session immediately after you create the session to be able to watch live data.

  2. Click Watch live data on screen as it is captured to view live data for your event session. The live data will start displaying tracing immediately after the session is created.

    System_CAPS_ICON_note.jpg Note

    The Watch Live Data menu option is disabled and unavailable for Azure SQL Database.

Create an Extended Events Session Using the New Session Dialog
Extended events in Azure SQL Database

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