What is miniDBA?
miniDBA offers a detailed view into a SQL Server's performance, from instance level all the way through databases and users, down to individual batches of T-SQL. It will help you tactically diagnose issues when they arise and also allow you to strategically tune a server to prolong the hardware's lifetime.
Is it simple to setup?
miniDBA Desktop is a stand alone desktop client, not dependant on any services, agents or repository databases running on any other computers. This enables you to connect to SQL Servers or Azure Database whenever you like, without waiting for administrators to setup monitoring software for you.
miniDBA Server can optionally be installed - it monitors your servers even when you have logged out as it runs as a Windows service. Unlimited miniDBA Desktops can connect to it for free and use it as their data source.
Does it only give me SQL Server information?
No - miniDBA gives you other performance metrics such as server memory, non sql instance related CPU load, CPU performance by core, logical and physical disk performance.
miniDBA also monitors SQL Server on Linux and RDS plus Azure SQL Database.
Will it tell me when things go wrong?
Yes - as well as the application itself displaying alerts you can enable miniDBA to write to the windows event log, email/Slack or page you when alerts are triggered.
Can it tell me about how well the server & databases are configured?
Yes - You can instantly see any configuration problems with disk, memory, security, un-optimal T-SQL at server and database level by running the health check diagnostic reports.
How will it help a developer?
You can quickly point miniDBA at any SQL Server instance to enable you to identify why T-SQL you are dependant on is running slowly. Regardless of the language you develop code in, there comes a time when the database slows you down and you rely on an administrator to help you solve the problem. With miniDBA you don't need to wait for them to become available and spend time helping you. In development environments that include local, development, UAT, and virtual servers, the ability to connect to any of these without worrying about the time and expense of software setup or licensing puts you ahead.
How will it help a DBA?
Either use miniDBA to sit in the background and alert you to when things go wrong or use it pro-actively to performance tune a server or database.
Diagnostic healthchecks, realtime dashboards and live data views of waits, runnning SQL, locks, index usage etc gives you what you need you need to home in on any performance problem.
The historic performance data viewer will enable you to make informed strategic descisions and prolong server lifetime.
Compare your servers metrics to the average across the thousands of other servers that miniDBA monitors. Know when yours are outside the norm.
Will it show me historical data?
Yes - you will be able to see database changes over time as well as view all the performance data that miniDBA writes to log files as it works. You can review this historical data in the miniDBA history viewer window.
Must I be an expert to use it?
No - miniDBA comes with hyperlinks built into the properties that take you to relevant Microsoft articles about the given property.
Must it be running all the time?
In order to monitor SQL Servers 24/7 you must install miniDBA Server. miniDBA Desktop will only monitor while it is running - logging out of Windows will cause it to close.
Security Requirements
Using windows or SQL Server authentication the user can use miniDBA to monitor the server as long as they have VIEW SERVER STATE permission.
SA and\or DBO permissions are not required - making miniDBA useable by people outside the usual DBA domain.
Server Impact
miniDBA issues a small lockless sample query against the server which consume less than a single percentage of server CPU, even on very low end hardware.
In testing on a mid range 8 core 3Gh desktop pc running SQL Server 2008 R2 at the default sample rate of 5 seconds it takes 10 instances of miniDBA to break the 1% SQL usage barrier. On hardware more powerful than this desktop pc, expect to see even less of an effect than this.
On servers earlier than 2012 SP1, entries in the sql server error log will occur every minute "Using dbghelp.dll version 4.0.5". This is a purely informational message of the lowest priority that is issued whenever SQL Server's extended events are queried.
miniDBA does this once per minute to check for deadlocks. The message can be safely ignored or eliminated when upgrading to 2012 SP1.
Throttleable Server Load
If you want to reduce the already tiny minidba query load, the interval between sample queries can be configured depending on your requirements.
Does it save passwords?
Yes - if you choose to, miniDBA will save connection string passwords for you, encrypted using the standard Windows security API - exactly the same way SQL Management Studio does.
What is the licensing model?
Licenses are per concurrent monitored instance.
Can I get it free?
The lite version is free and can be used to connect to a miniDBA Server.
SQL Server Version Support
SQL Server 2005 and newer
SQL Server on Linux
SQL Server on Amazon RDS and Google Cloud Platform
Azure SQL Database
SQL Server Edition Support
All editions of the database engine are supported; Express, Developer, Enterprise etc.


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