Automating Administration
Topics in this Tutorials

  • Automation overview
  • Setting up SQLMail
  • Setting up operators
  • Jobs, events and alerts
  • Types of job
  • Creating user-defined error messages
  • Setting up alerts
  • Multi-server jobs

Automation Overview

Design Goal: Easier Administration

One of SQL Server design goals has always been to make life easier for administrators.
This includes a number of features:

  • Integration with Mail. You can set up operators with email or pager addresses that can be automatically sent messages when a problem occurs.
  • Automated Jobs. You can set up jobs that are scheduled to run at regular intervals. These jobs can be made up of multiple steps with different steps being run based on the success of failure of previous steps.
  • Alerts. These can be set up to detect foreseen problems, such as disk-full errors. Alerts can run jobs and contact operators through email.

Set Up SQLMail

Mail Overview

Microsoft SQL Server 2000 has been designed to integrate with MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface) email applications. Microsoft Exchange is the recommended mail application for this purpose.

You can set up Microsoft SQL Server as a Mail Client so that mail messages can be sent directly from the database server when an event happens.

Some applications of this feature might be:

  • A trigger on a sales table that sends an email message to the relevant salesman if a big order has been made.
  • A procedure that sends an email message to an administrator with a list of current users.
  • Email messages to the server, requesting information can be returned to the users every day.
  • Email messages to operators when a back-up fails.

SQL Mail Architecture

When you configure a network enabling SQL Server to talk to Microsoft Exchange you need to have a Mail client on the SQL Server machine set up to ‘talk’ to Exchange.

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Configuring a Microsoft Exchange profile for SQL Server

Before you can configure SQL Server to be mail-enabled you have to set up a profile on Microsoft Exchange for SQL Server itself or more specifically, the domain account under which the MSSQLServer service is running.

To do this you must:

  • Create an account for both SQLServerAgent and MSSQLServer (you can create separate accounts for each of them if you prefer) to run under an account with administrative rights on the domain

If you are doing this in Windows 2000 with Exchange Server installed you will be given the opportunity to create an email account for the new user too.

In the example below the user SQLAgent has been created for this purpose.

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Once this has been done, you must perform the following steps to configure a Microsoft Exchange profile for that account:

  • Log onto the SQL Server machine itself as the Windows domain account you have set up for the MSSQLServer and SQLServerAgent services

The system should configure Internet Explorer if it is the first time you have logged on as this account.

  • Right-click Microsoft Outlook and set the profile to use the mailbox you have set up
  • Exit Outlook and log out of Windows and back in again as Administrator

Now you need to go into SQL Server and configure SQLMail.

  • In Enterprise Manager, find and expand the Support Services folder
  • Right-click SQLMail and choose Properties

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  • In the Mail Profile dialogue box, select or type MS Exchange Settings
  • Click Test and if it worked, Click OK

This has set the mailbox for the MSSQLServer (xp_sendmail) service. Next you must do the same thing for SQLServerAgent.

  • Expand the Management folder and right-click the SQLServer Agent service
  • In the dialogue box enter the MS Exchange Settings profile as before

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  • Right-click SQLServerAgent and choose Start