Being knowledgeable and comfortable with SQL Server metadata is a valuable skill for anyone working with SQL Server in any capacity, at any skill level. Metadata provides information about what SQL Server is keeping track of and what it is doing. Querying it can be the first step in any troubleshooting endeavor, whether to track down the reason for incorrect results or to improve poor performance. In this session, we’ll explore the various kinds of metadata available in SQL Server, including catalog views, dynamic management objects and system procedures and functions. I’ll show you how you can detect undocumented metadata objects and show you some internal information you can learn from them. The demos will provide examples of how you can query your system’s metadata to retrieve valuable information about what is actually going on in your SQL Server and examples of how you can write your own metadata objects when SQL Server doesn’t supply what you need.

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