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In our current environment, developers are not allowed to use SQL Debugging against any of the QA servers. It's not clear to me why the decision was made.

What factors should be considered to decide in favor or against enabling SQL debugging?

I'm looking at QA servers that are not used for production, but are shared among a dozen teams working on unrelated projects. Our developers cannot run local databases for a variety of reasons.

EDIT: To clarify, the servers are called QA, but they really are a mixed "development/preliminary QA" servers. There are separate UAT servers.

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Is SQL debugging specific to SQL Server 2008 only? – Sung May 1 '09 at 15:38
Is your question "Is that a new feature in SQL Server 2008"? In that case -- no. It's been available since at least SQL 7 and maybe even 6.5 (I can't remember). – Euro Micelli May 1 '09 at 16:49
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes. In order to use the T-SQL debugger, members must be members of the sysadmin fixed server role. That gives them complete rights over the SQL Server. That's not something you want to give out to developers in a QA or production environment. Development may be a different story.

Reference: SQL Server 2008 Books Online - Configuring and Starting the Transact-SQL Debugger

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Additionally, if you debug you can halt processes on the Sql Server, stopping anyone else from acting while you are actively debugging. If the server is shared by a large number of teams, that can be a problem.

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Enabling debugging will take additional resources on the machine, but otherwise I can see no reason to disable this. Perhaps there are security concerns with the data?

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