Review: SQL Stripes

SQL Stripes 0.80 beta

This one is sort of a Swiss Army Knife for DBAs, bringing together a bunch of monitoring and management tools in a single interface. Its most basic form is as an array of "stripes", one per SQL Server that you're working with. A single stripe shows the server name and IP address, status of key services, server version, and hard drive space. Stripes are easy to set up, and you can define a group to monitor each time that you launch the program. But that's just the beginning.

SQL Stripes monitors and manages Microsoft SQL Servers. (Click on image for larger view)

Click a button, select Databases, and you get a list of all the databases on the server, together with their size, free space, owner, and status. Another click gets you a pie chart of sizes; useful for finding those few problem databases on a busy server. Another click gives you a listing of active processes.

Double-click a database to see a listing of all the tables in the database. Double-click again to drill into the contents of the table. You can edit the SQL statement that fetches the table so you can focus on a few rows, or edit actual data and save changes back to your database. Another click will open query analyzer, connect to the selected database, and dump in a SELECT * statement to get you started.

From the database listing, you can also drill into views, or run some basic DBCC statements. You can check out the actual physical files, or look into maintenance plan logs and backup job status as well.

Problem with a server? No need to go hunting around for ways to solve it. With just a click or two you can open a command prompt on the server in question, or connect to it with Terminal Services, pcAnywhere, or VNC. This is incredibly useful if you have a pile of servers to manage and want to be able to hope on to troublesome machines in a hurry.

Finally, there's an alerting service here that can that can deliver e-mail or a visual or audio alert if a server goes down, a maintenance job fails, or disk space gets low. At least, that's "finally" for now. I've been watching this one for a few months now and it just gets better and better. Now it's at the point where it's definitely useful for day-to-day monitoring and maintenance use, and you can't beat the price.


For more reviews and opinions from Mike Gunderloy, click here.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy has been developing software for a quarter-century now, and writing about it for nearly as long. He walked away from a .NET development career in 2006 and has been a happy Rails user ever since. Mike blogs at A Fresh Cup.


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