I've been working on this application for a long time, and it has been quite a learning experience. I'll break this post into two parts, the meat/goodies that are included in the latest release, and the History of the application that got it to this point. Most people are probably going to be more after how to use the app than how it got to where it is today. So first, you can download the application from its CodePlex Home.
At the present time documentation is not up there, but it will be in a day or two.
- Complete Rewrite of the underlying Library code for better performance.
- New UI layout that has a familiar SSMS style and feel with Docking Panels.
- New TargetDataViewer allows easy viewing of Target Data in a Profiler type GridView
- Updated Scripting with better syntax and error checks (still could have some bugs though)
If you are interested in playing with Extended Events and can't get through all the metadata, give this app a drive, and provide some feedback on the CodePlex site as a Issue in the IssueTracker or a Discussion in the Discussions tab. I would be interested in hearing any and all ideas/thoughts/bugs regarding the application.
This started out as a pet project in August 2008 when I decided that if I was ever going to get good use out of Extended Events in SQL Server 2008, I needed to be able to see the layout of the metadata graphically. What started out as a simple TreeView that displayed the MetaData in a sensible (at least to me) manner slowly began to transform into a complete application that could build and manage Extended Event Sessions as well.
I made the decision early on to separate the code into two layers, a Library and a UI, and the importance of this separation wasn't completely clear to me until I sent a very early beta of the application to Bob Beauchemin who at that point had been one of the few to blog about Extended Events (XEvents at the time) at all. Bob pointed out that by separating the code, I could use the Library in PowerShell, something I had not previously considered, but there was a lot of work that would need to be done to create the complete separation needed to make this work in PowerShell at the time. I spent the time working on this, and eventually I had an application that I entered in the SQL Heroes contest for PASS which was almost where the app died.
Kevin Kline covered the application in Tool Time in the December issue of SQL Magazine which motivated me to go back to working on the app when I got the time, which wasn't very often towards the end of 2008. During this time Adam Machanic also contacted me about the app and was interested in helping to build the app into a full featured application for managing and using Extended Events. To Adam's credit, a lot of the changes that have been made are due to his suggestions and ideas over the last two months, and the application wouldn't be where it is today without his ideas and willingness to test each of the new builds I have made.