I don’t want you to be surprised when you see more use of SQLBPA. It was 18 months ago when the development team approached the support team asking us to help identify issues for SQLBPA. Several of us, including myself helped identify and rank a list of rules for SQLBPA that target the repeated, most difficult and critical cases.
SQL Server 2005 Best Practices Analyzer
The Exchange team has the ExBPA utility and it is being used when issues are reported to Microsoft as well as for onsite engagements. Since Exchange started using ExBPA for proactive engagements the rate of serious issues reported to Microsoft for Exchange has dropped 20+ percent. We expect the SQLBPA rules to assist SQL Server customers in the same way.
As a testament to the current SQLBPA rules I helped on 39 cases the week of Easter. Of those 39 issues 8 would have been directly identified by the current SQLBPA rules and 5 other issue significantly reduced in scope.
This week the SQL Server support team has increased the use of SQLBPA on support calls and will continue to do so to assist customers. I would recommend to any DBA that they run the utility on their systems to identify possible issues before they lead to unwanted support calls.
We intend to continue adding more rules and policies to assist our customers. We are working to provide new rules every 8 weeks to assist SQL Server users.
SQL Server 2008 DMF (Declarative Management Framework)
As we get closer to the release of SQL Server 2008 I should mention DMF in this conversation. DMF is the, out-of-box, replacement for the SQLBPA utility. It extends the capabilities beyond what SQLBPA can do and allows actions such as enforcement of policies/rules. If you have not looked into the DMF capabilities I suggest you do so. You could develop an entire series of your own best practices and enforcement’s to meet the needs of your applications.
SQL Server Senior Escalation Engineer