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Profiler for SQL Server Express

Profiler is a great tool. Everybody knows that. You can catch almost any event that occurs in the server while choosing the columns to display and filtering the results. It is very useful for monitoring and troubleshooting scenarios.

But it is not included in SQL Server Express edition. Well, it’s a free edition, what did you expect?

Recently I was asked to debug asp code that builds several query strings dynamically and propose alternatives that perform better. First I tried to follow the code and understand how the query strings are built, but there are many conditional splits, and I got lost very quickly. Then I decided to use Profiler in order to capture the actual queries sent to the server. This is when I realized that I’m working on a SQL Server Express installation, and Profiler is not an option.

After a short search, I found “AnjLab Sql Profiler”, which is a free open source Profiler for SQL Server 2005/2008 Express edition. I installed it and tested it, and it works very well. It doesn’t include all the event types and all the columns that the standard Profiler exposes, but it has most of the things a DBA needs. For example: it includes the “RPCCompleted” and “SQLBatchCompleted” event types.

It was a saver for my debug task. Next time you need to do some monitoring/troubleshooting/debugging with SQL Server 2005/2008 Express, remember that you can use Profiler. Here is the link:




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