Clicking the Filter tab located at the bottom of the Navigator lets you set a filter for the display area. By default, when viewing all SQL Servers the filter is set to show only failed jobs or jobs that have run for longer than one minute. More often than not, these are the “problem” jobs that DBAs want to see.
As you can see, there are many filter options. In fact, there are eight tabs available. On the filter Properties tab you can set the default time, interval, etc, for the view. With such a flexible filter, the usability of the product is increased.
You can elect to “persist” filter settings for a view in User Preferences, so next time you open it, the view will have the same filter settings. You can also persist any filter changes as a new view (shared or local) by choosing File > Save View As.
The Display Area
The Display area is this product’s most valuable feature because it provides a visual overview of job history and status.
Jobs are displayed in calendar-fashion on a time scale that you determine: 24 hours, 4 hours, 1 hour, 10 minutes, or 1 minute. A moving red line indicates the current time.
Jobs are color-coded according to status: green for completed successfully, red for failed, and amber for currently running. Double-clicking a job box on the display will open a properties box. Jobs that are scheduled to run at the same time are highlighted in orange — this indicates a possible “hot spot” on the schedule where multiple jobs are fighting for the same resources.
A key feature is being able to schedule jobs by dragging and dropping them on the calendar. For example, if you see that there are several jobs running at the same time and loading the SQL Server unnecessarily, you can simply drag the job and drop it in an open time slot. sqlSentry talks to SQL Server Agent behind the scenes and adjusts all future instances of the job associated with that particular schedule (since a job can have multiple schedules).
Another important option is the ability to view the event instance details (shown above). By analyzing these details, you can identify the likely source of an event failure with a single click, versus spending a lot of time drilling around inside Enterprise Manager or Management Studio.
sqlSentry also provides graphical data such as the above chart showing the runtime history for a particular job. In this example, you can quickly note the times the job ran longer than usual.