I'm a bit confused as to whether or not it is possible to use the SQL Profiler on the Web/Express edition of SQL Server.

From what I've read so far people generally say "No - it was removed in SQL Server 2012/2014". But then I read the edition/feature overview page:

It says "No", but with this cryptic note:

SQL Server Web, SQL Server Express, SQL Server Express with Tools, and SQL Server Express with Advanced Services can be profiled using SQL Server Standard and SQL Server Enterprise editions.

That led me to do an actual test. I installed SQL Server 2014 Express edition on my workstation, including the SQL Profiler, and was able to connect the profiler to the instance and run traces without any apparent problems.

Maybe this is because I'm running both instance and profiler locally, or perhaps because I also have a full developer version SQL Server 2008 installed? Any hints or answers would be appreciated, I would hate to configure my new (upcoming) server with the Web edition, and then find out that I was unable to use the Profiler (which is the only reason I would choose Standard instead of Web edition).


The reason you're still able to run the profiler to read server-side trace on the SQL Server 2014 instance is because the server-side trace is still being generated, despite profiler (the GUI tool) not being included in the installation package for the web editions.

That being said, 'Microsoft.SqlServer.Management.Trace namespace' is being removed from future versions of SQL Server (sometime in the next 200 years I'm sure).
If you are choosing a specific version of SQL Server to use the profiler, you might be better served learning about extended events, the heir apparent to SQL Server profiler.

And as a last addendum, this isn't restricted to the current version of sql server, profiler hasn't been a part of SQL Server Express for as long as I can remember.

  • 1
    Thanks - I'll start using the extended events instead, which also work with Express/Web editions (just took it for a spin). – Torben Warberg Rohde Feb 16 '15 at 9:35

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