How to check SQL Jobs are actually doing something.

Looking through the Database Mail log today, I accidentally discovered a job that had been busy sending emails for I-don’t-know-how-long using an email profile that no longer worked. The output of the job was ‘success’ as the emails had been successfully queued with the Database Mail sub-system.

After finding the emails would have been empty anyway, I disabled the job. But it made me wonder if there might be other jobs that were busy doing nothing – hour after hour – day after day.

Knowing the dangers of weakening the system, I did not want to fail a job or job-step just to flag a maintenance issue.

The lowest-risk change I could think of making (to the many, legacy, unfamiliar jobs) was to leave pertinent messages in the job history log using the PRINT command. For example:-

      PRINT 'YES: there is new data'
      (Do meaningful stuff)
      PRINT 'NO: there is no new data';

Then in the future I might notice that there is Never any new data!

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