SQL Sentry News

Our news room includes recent product reviews, press releases, eNews, and external blogs about SQL Sentry software. Also check out our blog posts for additional articles.

April 2014

eNews, the new SQL Sentry

Spring has sprung throughout the South here in the USA. The Bradford pear trees, saucer magnolias, and forsythia have all blossomed, bringing a rainbow of colors and sweet fragrances to life. And just as the natural world is bursting forth everywhere you look, so is SQL Sentry. The first thing you might notice upon visiting www.sqlsentry.com (that’s right, DOT COM!) is the entirely new look and feel for the website.

April 2014

SQL Sentry v8: Baselines from Every Angle

In my last post I covered the exciting new intelligent alerting features in SQL Sentry v8. Next up in the series is another huge and often requested feature: Baselining. Designing this feature proved to be somewhat of a challenge due to the diversity of opinions on this topic. Seems that everyone has a different idea about baselining – what it is, and how it should be used effectively to improve performance.

April 2014

SQL Sentry Introduces V8.0 with Intelligent Alerting, Baselining, and Cloud Features

The Power Suite continues its category dominance as the most complete monitoring solution available for SQL Server, with seamless history tracking and the lowest documented server overhead. The new features of v8.0 fall into three main categories: intelligent performance alerting, flexible performance baselining and cloud access to shared performance data.

March 2014

SQL Sentry v8: Intelligent Alerting Redefined

It's tempting to insert some clever reference to everyone's favorite vegetable juice medley here, but I will refrain, for fear of diminishing what is perhaps the most significant SQL Sentry release to date! In v8 we've addressed the three most frequent requests from our users – performance alerting, baselining, and cloud access – and we've done so in typical SQL Sentry fashion.

March 2014

An updated Plan Explorer demo kit

Back in 2010, we first released SQL Sentry Plan Explorer, a free application for query tuning through deep but intuitive execution plan analysis. The following year, I created a demo kit for Plan Explorer, responding to numerous requests for demos to help people share the tool (without having to come up with their own problematic queries and interesting plans). The kit was designed to give people better insight into the advantages of our tool, and to help them share its virtues with colleagues, user groups, and the SQL Server community at large.

February 2014

eNews, February 2014 - Top SQLPerformance.com Articles

February is the month for Valentine’s Day. So let’s take a couple of minutes to share the love with all of the technical knowledge we’ve been publishing lately. It’s not quite a dozen roses and a box of chocolates, but if it can save me a lot of time and effort at the office, it’s a gift that’s just as sweet.

January 2014

eNews, January 2014 - On The Road

We’ve turned the corner and have come full stride into 2014 with a flurry of activity. On the R&D side, we’re hard at work pushing our latest product release through final beta testing with the intention of putting a wrap on the RTM code very soon.

December 2013

eNews, December 2013 - Year Recap

We’ve reached the time of year, between Christmas and New Year’s Day, in which it is customary to reflect on the past twelve months and to plan for the next twelve. 2013 has been a huge year for SQL Sentry. There are, of course, some of the really big milestones to celebrate, such as doubling the size of our staff.

November 2013

eNews, November 2013 - Meet the Authors

One of the things that attracted me to SQL Sentry as a potential employee was that I liked the people and the culture. The corporate culture is focused on developing technical excellence in our products and within the staff, as well as a strong emphasis on responsiveness to our customers.

October 2013

eNews, October 2013 - PASS Summit Recap

The annual PASS Summit, held in our hometown of Charlotte, NC, was at the top of our minds for the month of October. And we rolled out the red carpet in a big way. If you know anything about the staff here at SQL Sentry, then you’re probably expecting me and my colleague Microsoft MVP Aaron Bertrand ( b | t ) to be doing double-duty at the conference. And you certainly wouldn’t be wrong.

September 2013

A Brief Tour of SQL Sentry's "AlwaysOnMonitoring"

"My first impressions are very favorable and I do think this is a useful tool – particularly for environments that have numerous availability groups and higher complexity topologies."

September 2013

eNews, September 2013 - Fall Conference Season

Personally, fall is my favorite season of the year. I’m always thankful when the summer heat abates and the nights take on a chill. Just as so many kids look forward to June and the summer break that follows, I look forward to September and the change in weather that follows.

August 2013

SQL Sentry Introduces v7.5 including AlwaysOn Monitoring

"Our ultimate objective with this release of SQL Sentry Performance Advisor was to increase visibility and manageability around AlwaysOn in dramatic fashion, thereby enabling it to reach its full potential," said Greg Gonzalez, President and CEO, SQL Sentry. "This new functionality is so powerful, some of our clients are even using it for resource management across commodity servers, something I'm not sure the AlwaysOn creators ever envisioned."

August 2013

eNews, August 2013 - Richard Petty Driving Experience Winners

The heavy rains of August may have washed out the gullies and flooded the parking lot here at SQL Sentry HQ, but they certainly didn’t dampen our spirits. With last month’s release of the 7.5 version of our flagship product, SQL Sentry, the Dev team is hard at work on the next elements on our product roadmap.

July 2013

SQL Sentry v7.5: A Better AlwaysOn

When we released SQL Sentry v7.2 with dedicated Windows monitoring last October, we were already hard at work on the AlwaysOn-oriented features that would become v7.5. We wanted to be the first to market with integrated, visual AlwaysOn monitoring and management, and I'm happy to say that we've achieved this goal – v7.5 RTM is now available for download!

July 2013

eNews, July 2013 - version 7.5

There are so many cool things going on at SQL Sentry this month that I hardly know where to start. But I’m going to give it my best shot. Before I get started let me remind you, if you’ve been attending our weekly SQL query tuning webcasts, then you know that on July 31st, we’ll be giving away our big SQLRacerX prizes. There’s still time to get your name into the hat with our last demo webcast scheduled for July 31st.

June 2013

eNews, June 2013 - Richard Petty Driving Experience

Summer is here and we are running full throttle. We’ve already had hundreds of entries, but the odds are still in your favor to win one of 3 Rookie Experience packages or 3 Ride Along packages from the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Charlotte Motor Speedway! You’ll be able to enjoy the ride of a lifetime and a fun party to boot on the closing Friday of the PASS 2013 Summit in our hometown of Charlotte, NC.

May 2013

eNews, May 2013 - UK Travel Recap and eBook Sign-up

A lot has happened since our last eNews edition and there is even more in the works. Our new eBook is almost ready! You can email ebooks@sqlsentry.net to get on the pre-order list or attend one of our weekly SQL Server webcast to get the promo code allowing you to download the eBook from the Kindle store for free.

April 2013

eNews, April 2013 - Conferences, Keynotes, and Community

April was one of our busiest months ever here at SQL Sentry. Just about every facet of the organization is hard at work. We have a pipeline full of new R&D innovations in the works. All of our teams are growing and on-boarding new staff. Plus, it’s the spring conference onslaught.

March 2013

Plan Explorer PRO 2.5: Query plans your way

Have you ever worked with a query plan that was so large and unwieldy that it was next to impossible to make any sense of it? It can be a frustrating endeavor, for sure. Plan Explorer has always done some things that can help with these plans, such as color-scaling costs and vertically compressing subtrees. Even so, when you're zoomed out to 10% and still only fitting a quarter of the plan on screen, color-scaling won't buy you much.

March 2013

eNews, March 2013 - The Amazing Little Toolbar

It is amazing how one little toolbar can make such a huge difference by providing an unprecedented level of control in how you visualize your query execution plans.

February 2013

eNews, February 2013 - Plan Explorer + SQLPerformance.com

I love it when a plan comes together! In this case, I’m talking about execution plans. As you’ll see in our Product News category, we’ve been hard at work building an even stronger set of execution plan assessment features into both the Free and PRO versions of Plan Explorer. The key new feature in our February release is, in a word, "socialization". We’ve made it one-click easy to get help with your execution plan at our new Q&A website Answers.SQLPerformance.com.

January 2013

eNews, January 2013 - Announcing Performance Advisor for Windows

There are so many fun and exciting things to tell you about in this issue of the SQL Sentry eNews! First of all, please allow me to say Hi. My name is Kevin Kline, a long-time veteran of the SQL Server community. I was privileged to join the SQL Sentry team back in the summer of 2012. SQL Sentry has some of the most powerful and useful tools on the market today and I'm really happy to be able to contribute to the next generation of even better tools and services.

November 2012

SQL Sentry Introduces Power Suite v7.2 at PASS Community Summit

The Power Suite continues its category dominance as the most complete monitoring solution with seamless history tracking and the lowest documented server overhead. The new features of v7.2 fall into three main categories: Query Plan Analysis, Windows Monitoring, and History/Alert Filtering. v7.2 includes two exciting new products: Performance Advisor for Windows and Event Manager for Windows.

November 2012

eNews, SQL Sentry Launches Version 7.2

We recently showcased our latest release, SQL Sentry version 7.2, at SQLConnections in Las Vegas and the PASS Community Summit 2012 in Seattle. Both were great conferences and we always appreciate the opportunity to meet personally with the SQL Server community.

October 2012

SQL Sentry Launches Plan Explorer PRO

"SQL Sentry Plan Explorer PRO was developed in response to many users’ request for additional features and functionality that fall beyond the scope of a free too", said Greg Gonzalez, President and CEO, SQL Sentry. "Several of the features required significant development effort but they deliver the enhanced efficiency that busy SQL Server professionals require".

October 2012

SQL Sentry v7.2 does Windows (and a whole lot more)

Since releasing SQL Sentry v7 with Fragmentation Manager in May, we've been hard at work on v7.2. Development ran concurrently with Plan Explorer PRO, which was released last week. v7.2 includes two exciting new products: Performance Advisor for Windows and Event Manager for Windows. The release candidate was recently published, and you can download it from our customer portal.

October 2012

It's Time to Go PRO!

It's hard to believe that we released the first version of Plan Explorer almost two years ago! The acceptance it has seen by the SQL Server community during that time has been amazing, and tremendously gratifying for all of us here at SQL Sentry. From the start we've had many requests for additional features and functionality. Many of those went directly into the free tool. For others, it was obvious that some serious heavy lifting and/or an increase in the support requirements would be involved, making them not well-suited for a free tool.

July 2012

SQL Sentry Announces Kevin Kline As Director of Engineering Services

Kevin has been a Microsoft SQL Server MVP since 2004 and is a noted leader in the SQL Server industry. His product designs have won multiple "Best of TechEd" and "Readers' Choice" awards. He is a founding board member and former president of PASS. He has written or co-written eleven books including the best-selling SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin contributes monthly columns to SQL Server Pro and DBTA magazines.

July 2012

eNews, SQL Sentry Announces Kevin Kline as Director of Engineering Services

We're excited to announce the newest addition to the SQL Sentry team, Kevin Kline. It would be difficult to be a member of the SQL Server world and not know who Kevin is, and be aware of his many contributions to the community.

May 2012

SQL Sentry v7 goes Gold!

After what has been a relatively smooth beta, we're going gold with v7 today! Read more about v7 features in my last post. I've also got some exciting news regarding new fragmentation-related features included in the base software, and how to get FREE licenses of both Performance Advisor and Fragmentation Manager.

April 2012

SQL Sentry v7: With our new Fragmentation Manager module

7 represents the culmination of almost a year of effort, and ideas going back much, much further than that. We've completely redone several aspects of the software such as alerting (condition and action) configuration, and we've added some awesome new features like automated defrag, computer groups, and CMS support to boot. Did I mention SQL Server 2012?

January 2012

Comparing multiple plans in SQL Sentry Plan Explorer

I’ve seen the question a few times now: “How do I compare two plans side-by-side in Plan Explorer?” Management Studio allows you to view multiple graphical plans that are visible simultaneously, either by generating plans for every statement in a batch, or by generating plans in separate query windows and then splitting the panes. However, at least in my estimation, a lot of the other metrics and properties are more valuable when performing comparisons.

October 2011

eNews, SQL Sentry Version 6.2, Plan Explorer, and SQLskills

We recently showcased our latest release, SQL Sentry version 6.2, at SQLBits 9 in Liverpool and the PASS Summit 2011 in Seattle. We continue to receive accolades for not only developing SQL Sentry Plan Explorer, but also for making it available to the community for FREE. And, if you've not had the opportunity to attend SQLskills Immersion Training, do whatever you need to in order to make that happen in 2012.

October 2011

SQL Sentry v6.2: SharePoint Timer Jobs, Oh My!

We recently released SQL Sentry v6.2, and it introduces an exciting new product: Event Manager for SharePoint. v6.2 contains several other new features as well, including SSAS usage metrics, performance dashboard event overlay, enhanced console security, and a streamlined setup process. SharePoint support and SSAS usage in particular have been heavily requested, so this release should make quite a few customers very happy!

August 2011

Why I Went With SQL Sentry

In my SQL Saturday #80 Session I spoke about how to get started as a DBA. One of the greatest advantages you can have as a DBA is setting up a fully featured monitoring solution.

August 2011

SQL Sentry Plan Explorer : New release and an SSMS add-in

Today we released a new build of SQL Sentry Plan Explorer. The build # is 6.2.34 and you can download it from the usual location. The updates in this release include a new "Check for Updates" feature accessible via the Help menu, other new additions to the Help menu, plan diagram tooltips which now indicate whether the operation is ordered and a new theme in place for all grids which is more consistent in both appearance and functionality with the grids in Event Manager / Performance Advisor.

July 2011

An in-depth analysis of SQL Sentry's overhead

One of my first major projects at SQL Sentry was framed shortly after I joined the company: to publish an analysis of the overhead that Performance Advisor and Event Manager place on both the server(s) being monitored and on the server(s) doing the monitoring. Every vendor wants to sell you on the "zero impact" and "no footprint" lines, but we all know that it is not possible for you to accurately measure performance on a server without also causing at least some performance degradation by virtue of performing said monitoring. So what does "zero impact" really mean in those cases?

April 2011

SQL Sentry v6.1: Something Old, Several Things New

Since releasing v6 a couple of months ago, we've been hard at work on some cool new features for v6.1. Our x.1 releases are usually comprised mostly of fixes for bugs not caught during the major release (x.0) beta, and a few new features. This x.1 release is different in that contains many exciting and high impact new features, and a higher feature:fix ratio than normal. This is likely due to the lengthy v6 beta, as well as some new QA processes we've put in place.

February 2011

eNews, Announcing the Release of SQL Sentry Version 6.0

The official release of SQL Sentry Version 6.0 occurred on Feb 14, 2011. We think you'll agree that Version 6 takes Query Plan Analysis and Performance Monitoring to a NEW level. Listed below are several of the new and exciting features.

November 2010

FREE SQL Sentry Plan Explorer Launched at PASS Summit 2010

SQL Sentry announces the availability of SQL Sentry Plan Explorer - a FREE software tool that greatly improves how you work with SQL Server Query plans. Plan Explorer builds upon the graphical plan view in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) to make query plan analysis more efficient. It contains many of the plan analysis features being introduced in SQL Sentry v6, but it does not require a collection service or database.

June 2010

eNews, SQL Sentry Version 5.5 and SQLCruise Update

SQL Sentry version 5.5 was officially released on May 21, 2010. We think you’ll be excited about many of the new features for both Performance Advisor and Event Manager, which include several of the most heavily requested enterprise features. SQL Sentry recently announced four winners of "Why I need to go on the SQLCruise" contest. The submissions were shared via the entrant’s favorite social media outlet.

July 2009

SQL Sentry Announces Performance Optimization Software for SQL Server Analysis Services

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor for Analysis Services provides unparalleled insight into Analysis Services performance, including bottlenecks related to memory and storage systems, aggregation usage, unoptimized queries, and query and processing tasks competing for the same resources. And when combined with SQL Sentry Performance Advisor for SQL Server and Event Manager, provides the only solution in the market covering Microsoft’s entire BI platform, including the relational data warehouse (SQL Server), Analysis Services (SSAS), Integration Services (SSIS), and Reporting Services (SSRS).

June 2008

SQL Sentry Announces New Performance Monitoring and Optimization Tool

SQL Sentry Performance Advisor is packed with many ground-breaking features, not found in any other software, all designed to simplify the process of optimizing SQL Server performance. Performance Advisor represents over two years of research and development by the same team that brought you the innovative, award-winning SQL Sentry Event Manager.

November 2006

SQL Sentry Event Manager Adds Support for Oracle

Cross-platform support provides unique insight and control to enterprise DBAs.