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Other Tools

In addition to NSControl, SQL Server Management Studio, and custom tools, SQL Server 2005 and Microsoft Windows provide tools that can be helpful when managing instances of Notification Services, such as the Windows Event Viewer, SQL Server Configuration Manager, SQL Server Surface Area Configuration, and Windows Performance.

Windows Event Viewer

The Windows Event Viewer is one of the most important external tools when using Notification Services. Notification Services writes runtime errors to the Windows Application log, so the Event Viewer is the first place you should look if a Notification Services instance or application is not behaving as expected.

You can use Microsoft Operations Manager to monitor for Notification Services events. The Management Pack for SQL Server 2005, available from the Microsoft Download Center, contains rules for monitoring important Notification Services events.

SQL Server Configuration Manager and SQL Server Surface Area Configuration

SQL Server Configuration Manager and SQL Server Surface Area Configuration have different purposes: Configuration Manager is used to configure the services and protocols on the server. Surface Area Configuration helps you ensure that your server is running only those services, protocols, and features used by your applications. However, for Notification Services, you can use either of these tools to stop and start individual Windows services associated with an instance of Notification Services. This is most useful when an instance is located on a single computer, or when you want to stop one service in a scaled-out instance.

If you have a scaled-out instance, and you want to start or stop all Windows services associated with the instance, use the Start and Stop commands in SQL Server Management Studio.

Windows Performance

System Monitor, part of the Microsoft Windows Performance application, enables you to perform real-time monitoring of instance and application performance, using predefined performance objects that contain performance counters. System Monitor collects counts, rates, and averages about resources and processing, such as notification processing, system CPU activity, and database sizes.

When you register an instance of Notification Services, Notification Services installs performance counters. These performance counters fall into the following categories:

  • Delivery channel, distributor, event provider, and generator counters provide information about these components on the local computer.

  • Subscribers counters provide information about the subscribers for an instance of Notification Services.

  • Subscription counters provide information about the subscriptions for an application.

  • Event counters provide information about events for an application.

  • Notification counters provide information about notifications created by an application.

  • Vacuumer counters provide information about the data removal process.

The name of each performance counter begins with NS$instance_name and ends with the name of the object, such as NS$StockInstance: Delivery Channels.

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