First published on MSDN on Aug 06, 2018

Authored by rajsell@microsoft.com



The Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA) is a new A/B testing solution for SQL Server upgrades. The utility will assist in evaluating a targeted version of SQL for a given workload. Customers who are upgrading from previous SQL Server versions (SQL Server 2005 and above) to any newer version of the SQL Server will be able to use the analysis metrics provided, such as queries that have compatibility errors, degraded queries, query plans, and other workload comparison data, to help them build confidence and better ensure a successful upgrade experience.


What's new in v2.6?

The v2.6 release of DEA has the following improvements:

    • Capture and replay of production database(s) workloads through automated set up.
    • Support for server side traces and XEvents .
    • Perform statistical analysis on traces and/or XEvents collected using both old and new instances.
    • Visualize data through analysis report via rich user experience.
    • Use SQL Authentication to both capture and replay.
    • An Inbuilt replay tool in addition to already supported SQL Server Distributed Replay for simple workloads.
    • Removes the dependencies of R and R-Interop.
    • Capture and replay workloads to Azure SQL Database , Azure SQL Managed Instance , and SQL Server on Linux .


    • Reporting enhancements:

        • New error categorization chart to easily find upgrade / migration blockers.

        • New error pie chart grouped by error id to easily identify the root cause of the errors.
    • Bug fixes and other performance improvements.



The following postings provide step-by-step guidance for leveraging DEA to perform a workload comparison:



You can download and install DEA from the Microsoft Download Center . Run ‘DatabaseExperimentationAssistant.exe’ to install the Database Experimentation Assistant.


Existing features


Supported sources and target versions

Source: SQL Server 2005 and above
Target: SQL Server 2005 and above
Analysis: SQL Server 2008 and above


How to contact the DEA team?

Customers can submit feedback by using a simple interface within the DEA tool or by sending an email to deafeedback@microsoft.com.

Occasional Visitor

All the tutorial links are broken.

Occasional Visitor
Hi! I'm planning to implement DEA and I wonder if I will be able to use my Amazon Relational Database Service SQL Server Databases as target where I can run the load against. I saw that on this release of DEA you added SQL authentication feature, but not sure if Amazon Relational Database Service could be used as target server.