SQL Server 2008 introduced a new eventing architecture called Extended Events or Xevents. With Xevents, you can monitor and troubleshoot SQL Server and bring together both database and Windows OS events using event tracing for Windows (ETW) which means that it is a very powerful mechanism that can be used by many tools including Windows debugging and troubleshooting tools and integrating into monitoring tools for Windows.
But there is not an out of the box tool to set-up Extended Events and SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) does not have any capabilities to provide support for Extended Events yet, even in SQL Server 2008 R2. Personally, I do not find Xevents intuitive or easy to configure and set-up.
But I came across Jonathan Kehayias’ Codeplex tool for managing extended events in SSMS. I’ve been using it today and I LOVE IT! Kudos to Jonathan for sharing this awesome tool with the community on Codeplex. I recommend that you download it and try it if you would like to begin using the power of extended events to monitor SQL events. I am currently making use of the SQLOS events.
BTW, just to add: based on my experience with add-ins and GUI-based solutions on Codeplex, I found Jonathan’s Extended Events Manager to be excellent compared to many other tools that I’ve tried.