sys.sysprocesses versus DMVs

by Simon Tewsi   Last Updated January 12, 2018 20:06 PM

I've seen a couple of blog posts where fairly knowledgeable sounding MVPs are still using sys.sysprocesses rather than the recommended DMVs: sys.dm_exec_connections, sys.dm_exec_sessions and sys.dm_exec_requests.

Given that sysprocesses is deprecated, I'm curious why anyone would continue to use it, particularly MVPs. Is it just that using sysprocesses is less hassle than joining three DMVs or is there a better reason for using it?

The two blog posts I mentioned were:

Adam Machanic: Smashing a DMV Myth

Tim Chapman: Find blocking processes using recursion in SQL Server 2005



Answers 1


sys.sysprocesses still contains information that is either very cumbersome or impossible to get from the DMVs, since they weren't complete (they are a bit better with each new release, but not 100% yet). Two standout examples:

  • database_id for a non-active request (e.g. there is a row in sys.dm_exec_sessions but not in sys.dm_exec_requests)
  • open transaction count (see Kalen Delaney's blog post)

I suspect this backward compatibility view will remain around until a few versions after they supply the information directly through the DMVs.

Aaron Bertrand
Aaron Bertrand
February 07, 2012 23:06 PM

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