In response to some conversation in an Experts-Exchange question, I decided to post an application I wrote about four years ago and never did anything with (or add much polish, as you’ll see). It’s a small VB.NET application that polls MSSQL servers and displays information about currently blocked SPIDs, as well as the block chain and age of blocked processes.
It’s something I’ve used when I troubleshoot blocking on a SQL Server, and generally leave running in my system tray – it will pop up a balloon when there’s a blocked process that lasts longer than some pre-determined threshold, and then optionally pop another balloon when it’s resolved. It works well as an early warning system for a critical server, and I’ve often used it when I’m performing maintenance on a production server that I’m concerned might block legitimate use – running the application lets me know within a few seconds when I’ve gotten in somebody’s way so I can act accordingly.
It’s still very much a work in progress and is pretty rough around the edges (and well inside the edges), but I’ve posted it to a Codeplex project for anybody else who might find it useful. Though I’m working on a few other things right now and haven’t done any development with this app in almost four years, I’ll keep an eye on the issues list at Codeplex (or feedback here) and try to address anything that comes up.
Without any further ado, here it is!