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John Paul Cook

SQL Heartbeat – my favorite free tool

There are many great scripts available for monitoring SQL Server. But admit it, don’t you miss animation and color? I’ve been using SQL Heartbeat for about two weeks and I really appreciate the animation and color. These features make the output highly effective and easy to grasp. Processes grow larger as they use more resources. Lines appear between processes when locking occurs. I find the tool so useful I leave it up all day on my secondary monitor. There have been several times when the only reason I noticed something important was because of the animated effects catching my eye. Download it from:


Published Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:16 PM by John Paul Cook

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Arthur Z said:

Impressive for a free tool!

Thank you Chris!!

Will let my DBA know about it.

February 12, 2010 10:10 AM

merrillaldrich said:


February 12, 2010 11:56 AM

Chris Randall said:

Good find, thanks.

February 12, 2010 10:24 PM

Barry S said:

Been using it for over a year now.

It is Fantastic.  

I too keep it open all day on a separate monitor.

February 15, 2010 10:15 AM

John said:

For the folks who leave the toll running all day, does this tool use a lot of resources, such as the CPU of the SQL host?

February 16, 2010 11:01 AM

Rudy Komacsar said:

Unfortunately it did not function for me in an environment that requires "RUN AS" for all server access.

February 18, 2010 4:47 PM

Les said:

I keep this one open all day too.  Love it!

January 14, 2013 11:40 AM

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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a Technology Solutions Professional for Microsoft's data platform and works out of Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a Registered Nurse who graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is an active member of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society. He volunteers as a nurse at clinics that treat low income patients. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Opinions expressed in John's blog are strictly his own and do not represent Microsoft in any way.

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