By: Rajendra Gupta || Related Tips:More > SQL Server Management Studio


SQL Server Management Studio is a graphical tool to configure, monitor and perform administrative tasks for SQL Server. This graphical tool makes the task much easier, but do you know what queries SQL Server runs when we perform certain tasks using SSMS? SQL Server also sends certain information back to Microsoft; how can we view that information for the queries we are running?

In this tip, we will explore how can we view and capture the queries running by SQL Server while doing tasks in SSMS and telemetry information for the queries we run in SSMS.


In one of my previous tips, New Features in SQL Server Management Studio v17 , we saw that SSMS is now a separately installed component and is not part of the SQL Server set up. SSMS 17.x contains many exciting new features, you can explore some of these features in the SQL Server Management Studio tip category .

Once we connect to an instance in SSMS, go to View > Output or use the shortcut key (Ctrl+Alt+O).

SQL Server Management Studio Output Option for Object Explorer Queries and Telem ...

Once you click on Output, it opens up an output window having two drop-down options:

Object Explorer Telemetry

Let's explore these options.

SQL Server Management Studio Object Explorer Data

One of the new features introduced in SSMS v17.x is that we can now see the queries, which SQL Server is running after clicking on an option in SSMS. Previously we had to run Profiler or an Extended Events session to capture the queries running. If we work with the GUI, normally we do not give much attention to the queries that are running behind the GUI, but this is an interesting feature to see the queries executing in the background.

Object Explorer shows the query text and elapsed time of the SQL queries needed to expand nodes in Object Explorer. This also gives information about the event timestamp and logs the begin and end query event.

Let's look at a few examples while expanding nodes in SQL Server.

Example: Connect SQL Instance

Once we connect to a SQL Server instance, it logs that information in Object Explorer as shown below:

SQL Server Management Studio Output Option for Object Explorer Queries and Telem ...

We can see the start of an event and it gives the below information:

Begin Query event with timestamp and URN End Query event with timestamp and URN Elapsed time in milliseconds Query

The URN (uniform resource name) refers to the underlying SQL Management Object and consists of an XPath-style hierarchy. We can copy the query and run it in SSMS as well to get detailed information.

create table #SVer(ID int, Name sysname, Internal_Value int, Value nvarchar(512))
insert #SVer exec master.dbo.xp_msver
if exists (select 1 from sys.all_objects where name = 'dm_os_host_info' and type = 'V' and is_ms_shipped = 1)
insert #SVer select t.*
from sys.dm_os_host_info
(1001, 'host_platform', 0, host_platform),
(1002, 'host_distribution', 0, host_distribution),
(1003, 'host_release', 0, host_release),
(1004, 'host_service_pack_level', 0, host_service_pack_level),
(1005, 'host_sku', host_sku, '')
) t(id, [name], internal_value, [value])
serverproperty(N'Servername')AS sysname) AS [Server_Name],
'Server[@Name=' + quotename(CAST(serverproperty(N'Servername')
AS sysname),'''') + ']' AS [Server_Urn],
CAST(null AS int) AS [Server_ServerType],
0 AS [Server_IsContainedAuthentication],
(@@microsoftversion / 0x1000000) & 0xff AS [VersionMajor],
(@@microsoftversion / 0x10000) & 0xff AS [VersionMinor],
@@microsoftversion & 0xffff AS [BuildNumber],
CAST(SERVERPROPERTY('IsSingleUser') AS bit) AS [IsSingleUser],
CAST(SERVERPROPERTY(N'Edition') AS sysname) AS [Edition],
CAST(SERVERPROPERTY('EngineEdition') AS int) AS [EngineEdition],
CAST(ISNULL(SERVERPROPERTY(N'IsXTPSupported'), 0) AS bit) AS [IsXTPSupported],
SERVERPROPERTY(N'ProductVersion') AS [VersionString],
( select Value from #SVer where Name =N'host_platform') AS [HostPlatform],
CAST(FULLTEXTSERVICEPROPERTY('IsFullTextInstalled') AS bit) AS [IsFullTextInstalled]
[Server_Name] ASC
drop table #SVer
SQL Server Management Studio Output Option for Object Explorer Queries and Telem ...
Example: Expand Database Nodes

If we expand database nodes in SSMS to see the details of databases, the below query is logged in Object Explorer.

SQL Server Management Studio Output Option for Object Explorer Queries and Telem ...

Here is the query:

SELECT AS [Database_Name],
'Server[@Name=' + quotename(CAST( serverproperty(N'Servername')
AS sysname),'''') + ']' + '/Database[@Name=' + quotename(,'''') + ']' AS [Database_Urn],
dtb.containment AS [Database_ContainmentType],
dtb.recovery_model AS [Database_RecoveryModel],
ISNULL(suser_sname(dtb.owner_sid),'') AS [Database_Owner],
when dtb.collation_name is null then 0x200
else 0
end |
when 1 = dtb.is_in_standby then 0x40
else 0
end |
case dtb.state
when 1 then 0x2
when 2 then 0x8
when 3 then 0x4
when 4 then 0x10
when 5 then 0x100
when 6 then 0x20
else 1
AS [Database_Status],
dtb.compatibility_level AS [Database_CompatibilityLevel],
ISNULL(dmi.mirroring_role,0) AS [Database_MirroringRole],
ISNULL(dmi.mirroring_state + 1, 0) AS [Database_MirroringStatus],
drs.database_guid AS [Database_DatabaseGuid],
when SERVERPROPERTY('EngineEdition') = 6 then cast(1 as bit)
else cast(0 as bit)
AS bit) AS [Database_IsSqlDw],
dtb.recovery_model AS [RecoveryModel],
dtb.user_access AS [UserAccess],
dtb.is_read_only AS [ReadOnly], AS [Database_DatabaseName2]
FROM master.sys.databases AS dtb
LEFT OUTER JOIN sys.database_mirroring AS dmi ON dmi.database_id = dtb.database_id
LEFT OUTER JOIN sys.database_recovery_status AS drs ON drs.database_id = dtb.database_id
(CAST(case when in ('master','model','msdb','tempdb') then 1 else dtb.is_distributor end AS bit)=0 and CAST(isnull(dtb.source_database_id, 0) AS bit)=0)
[Database_Name] ASC Example: Expand Security and Logins

When we expand the security section to view logins, the below information is logged.

SQL Server Management Studio Output Option for Object Explorer Queries and Telem ...

Here is the query:

'Server[@Name=' + quotename(CAST(serverproperty(N'Servername')
AS sysname),'''') + ']' + '/Login[@Name=' + quotename(,'''') + ']' AS [Urn],
log.create_date AS [CreateDate],
CASE WHEN N'U' = log.type THEN 0 WHEN N'G' = log.type THEN 1 WHEN N'S' = log.type THEN 2 WHEN N'C' = log.type THEN 3 WHEN N'K' = log.type THEN 4 END AS [LoginType],
log.is_disabled AS [IsDisabled]
sys.server_principals AS log
(log.type in ('U', 'G', 'S', 'C', 'K') AND log.principal_id not between 101 and 255 AND <> N'##MS_AgentSigningCertificate##')
[Name] ASC Example: Viewing Error Lo

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