Using Activity Monitor, I am consistently seeing the following query showing an average duration of over 300 seconds:

WAITFOR(RECEIVE conversation_handle, service_contract_name, message_type_name, message_body 
                FROM ExternalMailQueue INTO @msgs), TIMEOUT @rec_timeout

There don't seem to be any adverse effects on the server, and this query is showing zeros for all other columns.

Is this normal or a cause for concern?

  • Were you ever able to solve this issue? I am facing the same issue in my environment and working on it so please let me know what steps you finally took to solve this.
    – SQLLogic
    Apr 11, 2012 at 15:13
  • @AnkitShah apparently according to the checkmark below he implemented Mark's answer.
    – jcolebrand
    Apr 11, 2012 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


This is a Service Broker process listening to a queue for messages. 300 seconds will be the time out specified in @rec_timeout. See RECEIVE reference in books online.

  • Correct. Just to add: ExternalMailQueue is the Database Mail notifications queue that signals the mail processor that it has work to do. Mar 3, 2012 at 1:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.