The SQL 2016 Data Migration Assistant (Upgrade Advisor) is saying that I need to stop using old system table references. Namely, it wants me to stop using sysdatabases and sysprocesses.

I have some code that's logging session information based on data from sysprocesses. Included in that log is the database ID of the spid (session_id).

I have been searching online and have found only two possible replacements, neither of which work fully due to reasons explained below.

Option 1 (sys.dm_tran_locks) - This option seems to work rather reliably if I link back to sys.dm_exec_sessions but I noticed that it will never return a result if the session_id's database context is master or tempdb. That means I will not be able to reliably fetch the resource_database_id for any session_id that is using master or tempdb. I also cannot just assume it since there are at least two possible contexts to choose from.

Option 2 (sys.dm_exec_requests) - This option only works on session_id's that are actively running. Idle/suspended session_id's do not appear in the list.

If I cannot get the dbid for session_id's that are suspended and/or are using the master database context then I will have a gap in my logs.

Is there any other way to reliably fetch this information without the use of sys.sysprocesses?

  • what are you trying to achieve .e.g. find blocking or locks ? There can be a way to achieve if you let us know what you mean by ` have some code that's logging session information based on data from sysprocesses.` ? e,g. using sys.dm_tran_locks etc
    – Kin Shah
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:02
  • How reliable / meaningful is the database_id anyway? If someone is in master and querying a join between two databases or a union across all databases... what difference does it make? Why is this information necessary for sessions that are idle at query time? Their last query may have been against database 1 but their next query might be against database 12. Feb 8, 2017 at 19:30
  • @Kin I have one procedure that is logging blocking and another that is logging some audit information about currently logged on sessions.
    – Alf47
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:36
  • @AaronBertrand but why wouldn't I be able to obtain the current session's database context? I was able to do it in the past and I can still get it from sysprocesses? Whether they 3 part reference another database and/or plan to query another database in their next batch I should be able to obtain the current session's context using the DMVs reliably.
    – Alf47
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:39
  • My point is I don't know how reliable or useful the info you're getting from sysprocesses is ... okay, database_id has a value, but is it the right value? Are you actually using that value for anything (other than not violating a NOT NULL constraint in your logging table)? The blocking information you're logging, for example, has the information about database / schema / object already. Why do you care what's in the database_id column? If a lock in database 1 is blocking a query running in database 2 joining tables in databases 3 and 4, what 1 value of database_id do you want? Feb 8, 2017 at 19:41

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, Microsoft is aware of the lack of replacements. You can upvote & watch these Connect items for more details:

Deprecation of sysprocesses - DMV's doesn't fully replace all columns - by Tony Rogerson SQL

There is no real alternative to master.dbo.sysprocesses - by GV1973

  • Yes, unfortunately this is all I was able to find. I was hoping there was more information that i was missing. Thank you for confirming my suspicions.
    – Alf47
    Feb 8, 2017 at 19:37

Mapping System Tables to System Views: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms187997.aspx

A combination of sys.dm_exec_sessions & sys.dm_exec_requests is likely to contain most of what you need.

If you post your query we should be able help you to write a SQL2016-compliant version.

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