Help: SQL Server

Sharing my knowlege about SQL Server Troubleshooting Skills

Tips and Tricks : SQL Agent Job history data missing?

Posted by blakhani on September 18, 2014


I have many good friend who call me only when they have SQL Server related problem to solve. I really love you guys (in a manly kind of way!) for remembering me, at least during problem time.

One fine day my DBA friend called me and said that they have a data missing problem. There is a job which is suppose to move the data from one table to another. Application team reported that job didn’t run on one specific time as per their data calculation. As per their logic they pull hourly data from Table1 to Table2. They have observed that 1 hour data is missing. When they looked into job history they don’t see any evidence of job history. Oldest record for this job is 2 hours back.

My immediate question was – do you have many jobs running on the server? As expected, answer was Yes! They had may such data movement jobs and few of them run every 5 minutes. I asked him to run below command

select count(*) from msdb.dbo.sysjobhistory

and answer was 1000. And I said – that is THE problem! The SQL Agent Job system limits the total number of job history on per job basis as well as overall basis. This information is stored in the MSDB database. I asked him to open SQL Server Agent Properties and go to History page. Over there Modify the ‘Maximum job history log size (rows)’ and ‘Maximum job history rows per job’ to suit, or change how historical job data is deleted based on its age.

I also told that this won’t give you back the history, but it’ll help with your future queries! He was happy with the answer.

Later I did more research and found that this can also be done using below T-SQL command

USE [msdb]
GO
EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_set_sqlagent_properties @jobhistory_max_rows=1000, 
        @jobhistory_max_rows_per_job=100
GO 

If there is a need to purge the data manually using UI then we can use “Remove Agent History” checkbox and define the duration. The equivalent of that below

EXEC msdb.dbo.sp_purge_jobhistory  @oldest_date='2014-09-14T09:02:37'
GO

We need to provide the oldest date in T-SQL

Hope this helps!

  • Cheers,
  • Balmukund Lakhani
  • Twitter @blakhani
  • Author: SQL Server 2012 AlwaysOnPaperback, Kindle
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    5 Responses to “Tips and Tricks : SQL Agent Job history data missing?”

    1. Jay said

      If we increase the default size of and retention of Job history is that not going to hit the performance of the MSDB and hence inversly the job performance.?

    2. Vivek said

      Nice Article, Balu Sir. We often configure Jobs, but always overlook this part of the job.

    3. Dave said

      Gooԁ web site you have got herе.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like yߋu! Taҝe care!!

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