Finishing XEvent package items, syntax, and semantics (moon turn the tides…)

This won't be as long of an entry because I'm trying to finish describing the items that you can use in an XEvent session, that is, the items that exist in a package.
Let's do types and maps. A type is simply a data type, a simple type like Int16 or complex type like 'SOS_context'. Almost all the types live in package0, there's only one each in sqlos and sqlserver packages. Maps are enumerated constants.

See types:
select * from sys.dm_xe_objects where object_type = 'type'

and map:
select * from sys.dm_xe_objects where object_type = 'map'

and legal enumeration (map_key) values:
select map_value, map_key from sys.dm_xe_map_values where name = 'keyword_map'

Predicates: for predicates (think filters in SQL Profiler), you need a predicate source and a predicate comparator.
select * from sys.dm_xe_objects where object_type like 'pred%' order by object_type

There's probably more to it than this, there are customizable event attributes that can be SET in ADD EVENT, and predicates can use event fields for filtering (but not actions). But this will get you started.

One last thing that bears mentioning is the pair_matching target. This target allows you to specify a pair of events (like lock_acquired, lock_released) and after you've run the workload a while, it will show you (the relevent fields in the XML structure exposed by target_data (as in, SELECT CAST(target_data as xml) FROM sys.dm_xe_session_targets;) those events that do not match. That is, the locks that have been acquired but not yet released. VERY cool.

Once again BOL shows an example that takes advantage of knowledge of the pair_matching target's XML data structure. The XML used for target_data appear to be schema-less, i.e. they don't go by a named XML schema, i.e. you have to know what the structure items (elements, attributes, and values) mean. BTW, I keep referring to the BOL because I very much like the info in the BOL, as far as it goes, especially at this early stage. I come to (hopefully) elucidate and expound upon the BOL, not to complain about it. THANKS Buck, Alan, Steve, and all…

You can specify begin and end events, begin and end matching_columns and matching_actions. This is from:

SELECT * FROM sys.dm_xe_object_columns
WHERE column_type = 'customizable'
WHERE object_name = 'pair_matching'

Hope this was useful. Happy event tracing.

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