We have an ASP .NET web application that relies heavily on databases hosted on separate hardware. We're looking to expose an endpoint (probably just a simple .aspx page) that can be used by external tools/interested parties to determine whether or not the web application is "up and running". Let's call this endpoint the Status Monitor.
Since the web application relies so heavily on the database tier, we want the Status Monitor to ensure that it's able to hit the database. That said, the Status Monitor could be hit many times per hour so we want this database check to be as cheap as possible.
I was thinking we'd have the Status Monitor open a DB connection and do a quick "select @@version" query as a means to ensure that database connectivity is up and running.
Are there cheaper methods and/or queries to establish that the web server is indeed able to connect to and query the database tier?