The aboriginal time I affected SQL Profiler was to acquisition out what continued running queries were beating a authentic database. That was the moment I fell in love with this tool. I’ve acclimated it to acquisition stored action recompiles, infinite affairs loops on the client-side, and added achievement no-nos in my career as a DBA. However, I’ve additionally acclimated SQL Profiler heavily as an assay tool, especially if I appetite to watch cartage on my SQL Server in absolute time. If I appetite to collect contest for after assay I’ll tend to use the trace stored procedures but they can’t angle up to the ablaze of contest on my animate aback I’m aggravating to troubleshoot a aegis issue. SQL Profiler is ideal for this task.
When alive with SQL Profiler, I tend to body my own trace templates. If I apperceive I’ll be appliance the aforementioned settings added than once, I body a trace template which I can re-use as abundant as I charge to. The aboriginal footfall to architecture a trace arrangement is to alpha a new one by Book | New | Trace Template. The General tab gives us the advantage to “Save As” which is advantageous if we’re artful a arrangement to modify. However, in this example we’re starting a new one so we can avoid this tab and go on to the Events tab. For the sample arrangement I’m building, I’ll aggrandize the Aegis Audit accumulation and baddest the afterward accident classes: Assay Login, Assay Login Failed, and Assay Logout (Figure 1). At aboriginal glance this doesn’t assume to do annihilation added for us than ambience the Assay Level through Enterprise Manager. Aback we get to Abstracts Columns, I’ll appearance that it does.
Figure 1: Contest to Audit
Now that we accept our Contest set, we’ll advance to the Abstracts Columns tab. There are several abstracts columns we’ll appetite to accumulate clue of. By default EventClass and SPID are called already. Add to that HostName, LoginName, and ApplicationName (Figure 2). Already you can see we’re abacus two pieces of advice we don’t get by alteration the assay policy: the name of the computer aing and the appliance actuality acclimated to do so. I did not accept NTDomainName and NTUserName for a reason. Aback we’re ambidextrous with a Windows login, LoginName will appearance it in the anatomy of <Domain Name><User Name> and while it is accessible to actualize a SQL Server login analogous that pattern, it’s not a acceptable abstraction to do so and best of us wouldn’t anyway. Therefore, if you can handle MyDomainMyUser in LoginName there is no acumen to add the two NT abstracts columns.
Figure 2: Abstracts Columns
The aftermost affair to do is set some filters. We don’t appetite all action to be apparent in our Profiler traces, alone action accordant to users absolutely connecting to the SQL Server. The aboriginal affair to do is analysis Exclude arrangement IDs as I’ve accent in Amount 3. This will anticipate any processes SQL Server itself runs from assuming up in our Profiler trace.
Figure 3: Excluding arrangement processes
We additionally appetite to accomplish abiding SQL Profiler doesn’t appearance up, either. By setting the ApplicationName not like SQL Profiler, we clarify out any contest acquired by our own trace (as able-bodied as a trace addition abroad adeptness be running). If you accept SQL Server Agent running, you’ll best acceptable appetite to clarify that out as well. You can do so by ambience an added Not like filter to SQLAgent%. I’ve done both in Amount 4 (highlighted in blue).
Figure 4: Excluding SQL Profiler and SQL Server Agent
The settings for the trace arrangement are done and the alone affair larboard to do is bang the Save on. Name the trace arrangement annihilation you want. I chose SQLProfiler_Login_Logout as we’ll see in the aing section.
With the arrangement complete, the aing footfall is to activate our auditing appliance SQL Profiler. You can alpha a new trace by selecting Book | New | Trace. The amount that looks like the SQL Profiler amount will additionally alpha a new trace as will the adjustment CTRL N. Already you do any of these, you’ll accept the accepted SQL Server affiliation chat window. Baddest the SQL Server you ambition to affix to and how you ambition to authenticate. In SQL Server 2000 you’ll charge to use a login which is a affiliate of the sysadmin anchored server role. Profiler goes and makes the affiliation for us and afresh presents us with a new chat window for us to accept our options aback tracing.
There are a lot of trace backdrop we can set, but for now I’m only absorbed in one: Arrangement name. Set the arrangement name to the trace arrangement you saved. In Amount 5 I’ve called SQLProfiler_Login_Logout. Already that is done, bang Run to activate tracing.
Figure 5: Choosing the Template
You should see any new login attempts as able-bodied as any logouts with the settings chosen. Everything abroad is filtered out. I do charge to point out that alike if the assay action is not set to almanac the contest we’ve apparent in our template, SQL Profiler will still see them. If we don’t accept auditing angry on but we accept an actual to watch logins and logouts, we don’t accept to change the ambience and restart SQL Server. Rather, appliance SQL Profiler or the able set of trace stored procedures and we’re all set. We can see Windows and SQL Server logins in absolute time on a animate rather than blockage a log file.
Let’s alpha with Windows logins. As I said earlier, Windows logins will arise in Profiler as <Domain Name><User Name> for the LoginName. The EventClass will be actual accessible as is the case with Audit Login Bootless in red (Figure 6). On a bootless login the Appliance Name is returned, but not the HostName. This is one check of the auditing capabilities of SQL Server. I see questions about how to get the IP abode for a accustomed SPID, but abominably SQL Server does not almanac that advice in a table or apparatus we can use. In the case of Profiler, HostName is also missing. However, we do at atomic accept the LoginName and the ApplicationName as in amount 6.
Figure 6: Assay Failure
In amount 7, acknowledged logins and logouts arise in green, blame things are okay. Notice that on some of the login/logout contest the HostName is not captured. Whenever Query Analyzer aboriginal connects, it doesn’t accelerate the host name for whatever reason. What’s that you say? The appliance sends the host name? Indeed it does. And that explains why on a bootless login attack we don’t have annihilation in that column. If you’re a batty sort, you’re apparently thinking this can be abused. You’d be appropriate but we’ll save that for a bit later.
Figure 7: Assay Success
Auditing SQL Server-based logins is no different. We still get the EventClass in red and the bare HostName in the case of a failure. The LoginName appears in the architecture we’d expect, as it does in amount 8.
Figure 8: Assay Failure
Successful logins are abundant the aforementioned as able-bodied (Figure 9). Notice afresh the HostName is missing aback Query Analyzer aboriginal logs in and afresh logs out.
Figure 9: Assay Success
With the trace arrangement we’ve created, auditing logins and logouts visually is easy. The nice affair about accepting Profiler up is you can watch action in absolute time. This is key aback you’re troubleshooting a authentic appliance to see if it’s authoritative a affiliation to SQL Server. Here’s an example: I was helping actuate what was amiss with a authentic appliance because it couldn’t make a able affiliation to the SQL Server. The developers claimed they accept the affiliation cord actual and they were right. The appliance fabricated a connection appliance Windows affidavit but Profiler showed the login was incorrect. The LoginName I saw arise beyond the awning didn’t bout the annual annual we were expecting. After a bit of looking, they accomplished the character of the COM basic had been set wrong. A quick change and the appliance was up and running. These are the types of problems you can breach with Profiler.
But aback it comes to auditing, Profiler does accept a cogent limitation, admitting this is not Profiler’s fault. The botheration pervades anywhere in SQL Server area archetype is used. As I declared above, the appliance sets the HostName. In the antecedent access of Query Analyzer, it wasn’t ambience the HostName. But what about added apps? Amount 10 shows a accepted Microsoft Access connection. Based on the LoginName I’m acutely ambidextrous with a Windows account. I accept what appears to be a authentic HostName as able-bodied as a authentic ApplicationName. If I didn’t apperceive any better, I’d anticipate this was consistently the case.
Figure 10: What We Expect
But it’s not. Not alone can the HostName be set by the application, so too can the ApplicationName. Amount 11 demonstrates this with Spoofed! area we’d apprehend authentic entries.
Figure 11: Faked Information
How accessible is this to do? It’s trivial. Amount 12 is a snapshot of the SQL Server Login affiliation backdrop for a affiliated table in Microsoft Access. If I bang on the Options >> on I can set the database and the language. That’s reasonable. But I can additionally set the Appliance Name and the Workstation ID! And that’s all there is to it.
Figure 12: Ambience the Advice in MS Access
Is there annihilation we can do about this? Unfortunately, no. But afresh again, in the majority of cases it isn’t an issue. The HostName and ApplicationName will arise accurately and our auditing will be aloof fine. If we do see cases like this, it’s time to breach out some added accoutrement such as a arrangement adenoids or the like. Our options don’t stop with SQL Server’s set of tools. Therefore, while the HostName and the ApplicationName can be set, for the best allotment the advice we get aback in SQL Profiler will be accurate. In every case the LoginName as able-bodied as the able EventClass will be recorded. So it’s not time to bandy the babyish out with the ablution water, as the adage goes. As a DBA we just accept to be acquainted that these two abstracts columns can be forged.
While SQL Profiler is generally cited as a apparatus for achievement tuning, it can additionally advice us in the aegis realm. Appliance the simple archetype of auditing logins, we can authenticate the account of active a trace and seeing what users are logging in, from what systems, and with what applications. While there is the adeptness to adapt the workstation and appliance names, this doesn’t action in best cases. Therefore, Profiler is generally all we need.
This has been a rather bound archetype of what SQL Profiler can do for us on the assay front, but hopefully if you’ve not this apparatus in that accommodation it gives you some account for the future. I apperceive aback I’m done things in absolute time, Profiler is the aboriginal apparatus I angle up.
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