If the Auditing option is not available in SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard edition, then why I still see it under the Security object in SSMS?

After reading online, it seems that my option is to use the Trace Profiler that it seems will be deprecated by the time I master it! Can I use extended events in my SQL version?

I only want to capture events like what stored procedures are used more frequently, who are the login names and staff that runs them through a front end application which is built in Visual Basics... Thanks for any advice. Thanks.

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    Because Management Studio is not version- or edition-specific. In SQL Server 2012 SSMS you'll always see Availability Groups, even when you can't possibly use them because you're connecting to Express or Standard... – Aaron Bertrand Jun 11 '15 at 21:16
  • I see how Microsoft likes to confuse me as a beginner ;), as I don't want to see what I don't have! I'm sure the comparison of availability of all these objects and features between versions and editions are documented somewhere. I will have to print some of these for future reference. Thanks for your reply. – Mary Jun 12 '15 at 21:15

The auditing option, along with the resource governor and other enterprise only features are always shown in SSMS no matter which edition you are running. Part of it is probably for familiarity in UX design and part marketing. ;)

Yes, you can use extended events to capture some of this information. Setting up a server side trace to capture this is also very simple and well documented.

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I understand this is an older question with older correct answers. But fine grained auditing is now available in SQL Server 2016 with the introduction of SP1.

Many features found before in Enterprise Edition only (Compression, Partitioning, Row Level Security, Fine grained auditing, Always Encrypted, In-Memory OLTP, Columnstore, Changed Data Capture, etc.) are now available in Standard, and even Express edition in most cases.

Worth looking at the post from Microsoft.

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Another option is to upgrade, if possible. Starting SQL Server 2012, SQL Server Audit is partially available to all editions (yes all, even Express).

For a quick overview of which audit capabilities are available in which editions, check out this blog on SQL Server Audit Support in Different Editions and Versions.

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