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During SQL Agent Job configuration I see the options to define ALERT and NOTIFICATION. I see that notification is what I'd expect, a notification of a job failure for example. But I do not understand the requirement to create a notification within the job configuration. For example there I can configure to notify me about general Sql Server events or the Memory Manager\Max Workspace Memory Counter to fall under a limit.

Are these general server health and performance monitoring options that are completely independant of the job I am actually configuring?

I am staring at the screen wondering whether I am just stupid or this is a design failure of Microsoft?

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Magier -- The alerts are designed to allow you to capture and sent a notification for just about any condition that occurs on your SQL server. One common practice is to have the SQL agent looking for different fatal error severity levels that could be returned as a result of an error being raised from an executed command. Or for specific errors that are reported in the SQL logs that could indicate IO issues right up to database corruption.

Brent Ozar has a write up about some of the common alerts that he recommends as part of their sp_blitz procedure.

You could most certainly add many more if you don't have an additional monitoring service running to give you a heads up when something isn't within the range that you're expecting or warnings/errors are reported in the SQL logs.

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  • Aaron, so you say in this case to monitor any events / conditions I just leave the STEPS of the job empty and configure an alert only? Does the notification work in case there is no step to go through? I find this is still a bit confusing. – Magier Oct 29 '15 at 10:08
  • Magier, you would actually create Alerts under SQL Agent and those are monitors by the SQL Agent and it will sent out a notification when the threshold for that alert is met. Additionally you can setup the notifications in each of the Jobs to be sent based on the result. – Aaron Oct 29 '15 at 18:22
  • Aaron, got it, almost. Alerts vs. notification is clear. What I still don't get is the reason the ALERTS are listed (and add-/editable) in jobs. I created an alert just in the Alerts folder under the Agent. It works. So it's kind of independant of Jobs. Why should I ever add alerts to jobs that are scheduled instead of letting the Agent monitor the alert conditions at ANY time? Also, I can REMOVE alerts from the list of alerts in a job - but I can't add the alert back to the job again. This does not make any sense to me. However, I'll accept your answer, feel free to add couple more details ;) – Magier Nov 3 '15 at 13:30

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