One of my favorite new features of SQL Server 2008 is extended events. I've written a bunch of blog entries on 'em (use the search, type in Extended Events). So a few days ago, I recieved an email from Jonathan Kehayias directing me to his new program on Codeplex, the SQL 2008 Extended Events Manager, asking for my opinion and suggestions.

Well, my opinion is "I like it a lot". And one of my first suggestions was a starter help file, because those of us who are sometimes "GUI challanged" might miss features upon first glance. And every new dialog I discover enforces my appreciation for the program's usefulness.

So here's a short starter walkthrough.

1. When you bring up the program, an empty window appears. Choose File-New Connection from the menu to get a connection to an instance. You can change connection but you can only have one connection open at a time.
2. A treeview appears in the lefthand pane of the main window. It shows information about your current event sessions. An event session consists of one or more events. Events contain event fields, actions, and can contain predicates. Each event session has a target with options related to the target specified.
3. Each event session has a context menu. You can Edit or Drop the event session, Script the event session for CREATE or DROP, and Stop and Start the event session.
4. Choosing New Event Session from the context menu on the (top-level) instance node of the tree or choosing Edit Event Session on an existing event session brings you to the Session Editor dialog.
  a. For a new session, you need to enter the session name.
  b. Clicking the hyperlink for Add Event brings you to the Event Editor dialog. Here you can choose events, actions, and predicates with the help of "search terms" that help you locate the event you want. There's even a Predicate Editor.
  c. Clicking the hyperlink for Add Target brings you to the Target Editor.
  d. Saving an event session in the Session Editor creates it immediately or you can script the event session.
5. The Extended Events Metadata Viewer is available from the content menu of the (top-level) instance node as well. This dialog lets you browse graphically through the Extended Event metadata.

BTW, the program consists of two pieces, the GUI program and the ExtendedEventsManager library. The library is meant to be as SMO-like as possible (there currently are no SMO classes for Extended Events). This means that you could even load the library into…let's say PowerShell..and use it there also.

Post enhancement requests, bug reports, etc to the Codeplex project page.