tim laqua dot com Thoughts and Code from Tim Laqua


Trending SQL Server Agent Job Duration by Hour

Earlier today I noticed a SQL Server Agent job taking a little longer than usual (or what I thought was longer than usual). Let's face it, we're not staring at the Job Activity monitor all day, so unless you've written a report to monitor job run times - on occasion you ask yourself "is that a normal run time for this thing?" The job I was curious about happened to be a job that runs throughout the day and should only have real work to do once or twice an hour - and it should run roughly the same amount of time on any given business day for a given hour (i.e. at 1:00 PM on any given business day, this thing should do the same amount of work).

So I came up with the following query to PIVOT the run duration on the hour the job executed:


A Cleaner Way to Detect the State of a SQL Server Agent Job In SQL Server 2005

I have always felt that the traditional approach to getting Agent Job status by creating a table and populating it with output from xp_sqlagent_enum_jobs was incredibly crude. So I poked around a bit and came up with a solution using a Table Valued Function that queries sysjobactivity to determine the status of a given job. The reason I use a Table Valued Function is because we have a few tables that contain a list of jobs that need to be started at certain points in a given process (and they may or may not already be running) - with the TVF, you can simply CROSS APPLY the function and bob's your uncle.


SQL Server Analysis Services Command (XMLA) Agent Job Step Reports Success On Command Failure

I ran in to this the other day, did some googling, and really did not like what I saw for workarounds. In SQL Server 2005, when an XMLA job step fails (returns an Exception node in the XML response), the job step still reports success (because it's defining success as "did I get a response") - this has been fixed in SQL Server 2008. Common workarounds are using ascmd.exe or SSIS to handle the XMLA commands (ish - both of those solutions add a lot of complexity for a simple problem). So, I came up with a workaround that checks the text of the previous job step for the substring "<Exception ". It's been working thus far, with no issues.

After each XMLA command step, insert a T-SQL step to verify that the XMLA command step succeeded:


SET @JobName = ‘Name Of Job This Step Belongs to’

DECLARE @Message VARCHAR(1024)

SELECT TOP 1 @Message = CAST([message] AS VARCHAR(1024))
FROM msdb.dbo.sysjobhistory a
INNER JOIN msdb.dbo.sysjobs b
ON a.job_id = b.job_id AND b.[NAME] = @JobName
ORDER BY run_date DESC, run_time DESC, step_id DESC

IF @Message LIKE ‘%

UPDATE (2009-04-03): Added , step_id DESC to ORDER BY clause - when the XMLA job fails instantly (say you tried to process a nonexistant partition), run_time doesn't have enough granularity to sort properly.

Once your done, your job steps will look something like this: