Why Profiler is not Enough.

AimBetter solving performance problems that Profiler misses

By Henry Kaye.  October 20018

Microsoft SQL Server Profiler is a graphical user interface to SQL Trace for monitoring an instance of the database.  It can capture and save data about each event to a file or table for you to analyze later. For example, you can see which stored procedures are affecting performance by executing too slowly.


The main problems are that it does not show data about queries that have not yet completed. Queries that are still running and blocked are not included in Profiler analysis. In reality, Profiler is good for Long Query Analyze functions after the event but is not designed to see current locks.

As well, Profiler requires many hours of digging through multiple pages and looking back over source code and logs, mostly dealing with long queries that were not problematic at all … by far the great majority of long queries are not problematic – and the fact that Profiler captured them at all means that they did complete eventually.

Of course, if you do not enjoy the full or part-time services of a DBA, solving these problems can be an expensive exercise in terms of time and money.

The AimBetter way

Using AimBetter dashboard, you see the whole picture, covering both completed queries, as well as the ones that are currently blocked – which are the ones of greatest concern. In the main screen, you are immediately alerted to the situation, as we show here:

Making use of AimBetter’s step-by-step follow through process, clicking onto the Query tab shows the relevant details of all the current queries, not just the ones that completed as you find in Profiler:

From there, it is possible to open and examine the plan. Here AimBetter provides the special ability to see the exact plan that is being executed, not the presumed plan that was selected by SQL Optimizer, which may not in fact what is executing (see more about this on our article here).

Where AimBetter scores points over Profiler

Profiler is designed to solve problems of long-running queries, without being able to identify queries that are currently locked or are incomplete. On top of that, it needs the expert eyes of experienced DBAs who must track through the raw information that Profiler provides to the actual source, understanding and interpreting a large volume of data.

AimBetter works to address these weaknesses.  Firstly, by being able to report on incomplete queries as well as the ones that finished.  Secondly, by raising alerts to situations where queries may have run into problems before they start to impact on general performance, and most importantly, to lead you straight to all the relevant information about the problem.

With the added assistance of our Expert Support team, who stand by to help you understand, interpret and fix these problems, the choice between AimBetter and Profiler should be a no-brainer!




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