Blocking is an unavoidable characteristic of any relational
database management system (RDBMS) with lock-based concurrency. On SQL Server,
blocking occurs when one SPID holds a lock on a specific resource and a second
SPID attempts to acquire a conflicting lock type on the same resource.
Typically, the time frame for which the first SPID locks the resource is very
small. When it releases the lock, the second connection is free to acquire its
own lock on the resource and continue processing. This is normal behavior and
may happen many times throughout the course of a day with no noticeable effect
on system performance.
The duration and transaction context of a
query determine how long its locks are held and, thereby, their impact on other
queries. If the query is not executed within a transaction (and no lock hints
are used), the locks for SELECT statements will only be held on a resource at
the time it is actually being read, not for the duration of the query. For
INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements, the locks are held for the duration of
the query, both for data consistency and to allow the query to be rolled back
For queries executed within a transaction, the duration
for which the locks are held are determined by the type of query, the
transaction isolation level, and whether or not lock hints are used in the
query. For a description of locking, lock hints, and transaction isolation
levels, see the following topics in SQL Server Books Online:
- Locking in the Database Engine
- Customizing Locking and Row Versioning
- Lock Modes
- Lock Compatibility
- Row Versioning-based Isolation Levels in the Database Engine
- Controlling Transactions (Database Engine)
When locking and blocking increase to the point where there is
a detrimental effect on system performance, it is usually due to one of the
- A SPID holds locks on a set of resources for an extended
period of time before releasing them. This type of blocking resolves itself
over time, but can cause performance degradation.
- A SPID holds locks on a set of resources and never releases
them. This type of blocking does not resolve itself and prevents access to the
affected resources indefinitely.
In the first scenario above, the blocking problem resolves
itself over time as the SPID releases the locks. However, the situation can be
very fluid as different SPIDs cause blocking on different resources over time,
creating a moving target. For this reason, these situations can be difficult to
troubleshoot using SQL Server Enterprise Manager or individual SQL queries. The
second situation results in a consistent state that can be easier to diagnose.
Gathering Blocking Information
To counteract the difficulty of troubleshooting blocking
problems, a database administrator can use SQL scripts that constantly monitor
the state of locking and blocking on SQL Server. These scripts can provide
snapshots of specific instances over time, leading to an overall picture of the
problem. For a description of how to monitor blocking with SQL scripts, see the
following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to monitor blocking in SQL Server 2005 and in SQL Server 2000
The scripts in this article will perform the tasks
below. Where possible, the method for obtaining this information from
SQL Server Management Studio is given.
- Identify the SPID (Session ID) at the head of the blocking chain and the SQL Statement.
In addition to using the scripts in the previously mentioned Knowledge Base article, you
can identify the head of the blocking chain by using features that are provided through SQL Server Management Studio. To do this, use one of the following methods:
- Right-click the server object, expand Reports, expand Standard Reports, and then click Activity – All Blocking Transactions. This report shows the transactions at the head of blocking chain. If you expand the transaction, the report will show the transactions that are blocked by the head transaction. This report will also show the "Blocking SQL Statement" and the "Blocked SQL Statement."
- Use DBCC INPUTBUFFER(<spid>) to find the last statement that was submitted by a SPID.
- Find the transaction nesting level and process status of the blocking SPID.
The transaction nesting level of a SPID is available in the
@@TRANCOUNT global variable. However, it can be determined from outside the
SPID by querying the sysprocesses table as follows:
The value returned is the @@TRANCOUNT value for the SPID. This shows
the transaction nesting level for the blocking SPID, which in turn can explain
why it is holding locks. For example, if the value is greater than zero, the
SPID is in the midst of a transaction (in which case it is expected that it
retains certain locks it has acquired, depending on the transaction isolation
SELECT open_tran FROM master.sys.sysprocesses WHERE SPID=<blocking SPID number>
You can also check to see if any long-term open transaction
exists in the database by using DBCC OPENTRAN
Gathering SQL Server Profiler Trace Information
In addition to the above information, it is often necessary to
capture a Profiler trace of the activities on the server to thoroughly
investigate a blocking problem on SQL Server. If a SPID executes multiple
statements within a transaction, only the last statementthat was submitted will show in the
report, input buffer, or activity monitor output. However, one of the earlier commands may be the reason
locks are still being held. A Profiler trace will enable you to see all of the
commands executed by a SPID within the current transaction. The following steps
help you to set up SQL Server Profiler to capture a trace.
Table 1: Event types
- Open SQL Server Profiler.
- On the File menu, point to New, and then click Trace.
- On the General tab, specify a trace name and a file name to capture the data to.
Important The trace file should be written to a fast local or shared disk. Avoid tracing to a slow disk or network drive. Also make sure Server processes trace data is selected.
- On the Events Selection tab, click to select the Show all events and the Show all columns check boxes.
- On the Events Selection tab, add the Event types that are listed in Table 1 to your trace.
Additionally, you may include the additional Event types that are listed in Table 2 for further information. If you are running in a high-volume production environment, you may decide to use only the events in Table 1, as they are typically sufficient to troubleshoot most blocking problems. Including the additional events in Table 2 may make it easier to quickly determine the source of a problem (or these events may be necessary to identify the culprit statement in a multi-statement procedure). However, including events in Table 2 will also add to the load on the system and increase the trace output size.
Table 2: Additional Event types
Collapse this tableExpand this table
|Errors and Warnings||Exception|
|Errors and Warnings||Attention|
|Security Audit||Audit Login|
|Security Audit||Audit Logout|
Collapse this tableExpand this table
For more information about using the SQL Server Profiler, please see SQL Server
Identifying and Resolving Common Blocking Scenarios
By examining the above information, you can determine the cause
of most blocking problems. The rest of this article is a discussion of how to
use this information to identify and resolve some common blocking scenarios.
This discussion assumes you have used the blocking scripts in article 271509
(referenced earlier) to capture information on the blocking SPIDs and have made
a Profiler trace with the events described above.
Viewing the Blocking Script Output
Examine the sys.sysprocesses output to determine the heads of the blocking chains
If you did not specify fast mode for the blocking scripts,
there will be a section titled "SPIDs at the head of blocking chains" that
lists the SPIDs that are blocking other SPIDs in the script output.
SPIDs at the head of blocking chains
If you specified the fast option, you can still determine the
blocking heads by looking at the sys.sysprocesses
output and following the hierarchy of the SPID that is reported in the blocked column.
Examine the sys.sysprocesses output for information on the SPIDs at the head of the blocking chain.
It is important to evaluate the following sys.sysprocesses
This column shows the
status of a particular SPID. Typically, a sleeping
status indicates that the SPID has completed execution and is
waiting for the application to submit another query or batch. A runnable
, or sos_scheduler_yield
status indicates that the SPID is currently processing a query. The
following table gives brief explanations of the various status
Collapse this tableExpand this table
|Background||The SPID is running a background
task, such as deadlock detection.|
|Sleeping||The SPID is not currently executing.
This usually indicates that the SPID is awaiting a command from the
|Running||The SPID is currently running on a scheduler.|
|Runnable||The SPID is in the runnable queue of a scheduler and waiting to get scheduler time.|
|Sos_scheduler_yield||The SPID was running, but it has voluntarily yielded its time slice on the scheduler to allow another SPID to acquire scheduler time.|
|Suspended||The SPID is waiting for an event, such as a lock or a latch.|
|Rollback||The SPID is in rollback of a transaction.|
|Defwakeup||Indicates that the SPID is waiting for a resource that is in the process of being freed. The waitresource field should indicate the resource in question.|
This field tells you the transaction
nesting level of the SPID. If this value is greater than 0, the SPID is within
an open transaction and may be holding locks acquired by any statement within
the transaction.Lastwaittype, waittype, and waittime
field is a string representation of the waittype
field, which is a reserved internal binary column. If the waittype
is 0x0000, the SPID is not currently waiting for anything and
value indicates the last waittype
that the SPID had. If the waittype
is not zero, the lastwaittype
value indicates the current waittype
of the SPID.
a brief description of the different lastwaittype
values, see the following article in the Microsoft
Description of the waittype and lastwaittype columns in the master.dbo.sysprocesses table in SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005
For more information about sys.dm_os_wait_stats
, see SQL Server Books Online.
value can be used to determine if the SPID is making progress.
When a query against the sys.sysprocesses
table returns a value in the waittime
column that is less than the waittime
value from a previous query
, this indicates that the prior lock was acquired and released and
is now waiting on a new lock (assuming non-zero waittime). This can be verified
by comparing the waitresource
This field indicates the resource
that a SPID is waiting on. The following table lists common waitresource
formats and their meaning:
Collapse this tableExpand this table
In this case, database ID 5 is the pubs sample database and object ID 261575970 is the titles table and 1 is the clustered index.
In this case, database ID 5 is pubs, file ID 1 is the primary data file, and page 104 is a page
belonging to the titles table.
To identify the object id that the page belongs to, use the DBCC PAGE (dbid, fileid, pageid, output_option) command, and look at the m_objId. For example:
DBCC TRACEON ( 3604 )
DBCC PAGE ( 5 , 1 , 104 , 3 )
|Key||DatabaseID:Hobt_id (Hash value
for index key)||KEY: 5:72057594044284928 (3300a4f361aa)|
In this case,
database ID 5 is Pubs, Hobt_ID 72057594044284928 corresponds to non clustered index_id 2 for object id 261575970 (titles table). Use the sys.partitions catalog view to associate the hobt_id to a particular index id and object id. There is no way to unhash the index key hash to a specific index key value.
In this case, database ID 5 is pubs , file ID 1 is the primary data file, page 104 is a page belonging to the titles table, and slot 3 indicates the row's position on the page.
|Compile||DatabaseID:ObjectID [[COMPILE]]||TAB: 5:834102012 [[COMPILE]] This is not a table lock, but rather a compile lock on a stored procedure. Database ID 5 is pubs, object ID 834102012 is stored procedure usp_myprocedure. See Knowledge Base Article 263889 for more information on blocking caused by compile locks.|
The remaining sys.sysprocesses
columns can provide insight into the root of a problem as well.
Their usefulness varies depending on the circumstances of the problem. For
example, you can determine if the problem happens only from certain clients
(hostname), on certain network libraries (net_library), when the last batch
submitted by a SPID was (last_batch), and so on.
Examine the DBCC INPUTBUFFER output.
For any SPID at the head of a blocking chain or with a
non-zero waittype, the blocking script will execute DBCC INPUTBUFFER to
determine the current query for that SPID.
In many cases, this is the query that is causing the locks that
are blocking other users to be held. However, if the SPID is within a
transaction, the locks may have been acquired by a previously executed query,
not the current one. Therefore, you should also view the Profiler output for
the SPID, not just the inputbuffer. Note
Because the blocking script consists of multiple steps, it is
possible that a SPID may appear in the first section as the head of a blocking
chain, but by the time the DBCC INPUTBUFFER query is executed, it is no longer
blocking and the INPUTBUFFER is not captured. This indicates that the blocking
is resolving itself for that SPID and it may or may not be a problem. At this
point, you can either use the fast version of the blocking script to try to
ensure you capture the inputbuffer before it clears (although there is still no
guarantee), or view the Profiler data from that time frame to determine what
queries the SPID was executing.
Viewing the Profiler Data
Viewing Profiler data efficiently is extremely valuable in
resolving blocking issues. The most important thing to realize is that you do
not have to look at everything you captured; be selective. Profiler provides
capabilities to help you effectively view the captured data. In the Properties
dialog box (on the File
menu, click Properties
), Profiler allows you to limit the data displayed by removing
data columns or events, grouping (sorting) by data columns and applying
filters. You can search the whole trace or only a specific column for specific
values (on the Edit
menu, click Find
). You can also save the Profiler data to a SQL Server table (on
menu, point to Save As
and then click Table
) and run SQL queries against it.
Be careful that you perform filtering only on a previously saved trace file
. If you perform these steps on an active trace, you
risk losing data that has been captured since the trace was started. Save an
active trace to a file or table first (on the File
menu, click Save As
) and then reopen it (on the File
menu, click Open
) before proceeding. When working on a saved trace file, the
filtering does not permanently remove the data being filtered out, it just does
not display all the data. You can add and remove events and data columns as
needed to help focus your searches.What to look for:
- What commands has the SPID at the head of a blocking chain
executed within the current transaction?
Filter the trace data for a
particular SPID that is at the head of a blocking chain (on the File menu, click Properties; then on the Filters tab specify the SPID value). You can then examine the commands it
has executed prior to the time it was blocking other SPIDs. If you include the
Transaction events, they can easily identify when a transaction was started.
Otherwise, you can search the Text column for BEGIN, SAVE, COMMIT, or ROLLBACK TRANSACTION
operations. Use the open_tran value from the sysprocesses table to ensure that you catch all of the transaction events.
Knowing the commands executed and the transaction context will allow you to
determine why a SPID is holding locks.
Remember, you can remove
events and data columns. Instead of looking at both starting and completed
events, choose one. If the blocking SPIDs are not stored procedures, remove the
SP:Starting or SP:Completed events; the SQLBatch and RPC events will show the procedure call. Only view the SP events when
you need to see that level of detail.
- What is the duration of the queries for SPIDs at the head
of blocking chains?
If you include the completed events above, the Duration column will show the query execution time. This can help you
identify long-running queries that are causing blocking. To determine why the
query is performing slowly, view the CPU, Read, and Writes columns, as well as the Execution Plan event.
Categorizing Common Blocking Scenarios
The table below maps common symptoms to their probable causes.
The number indicated in the Scenario
column corresponds to the number in the "Common Blocking
Scenarios and Resolutions" section of this article below. The Waittype
, and Status
columns refer to sysprocesses
information. The Resolves?
column indicates whether or not the blocking will resolve on its
Collapse this tableExpand this table
0||runnable||Yes, when query finishes.||Physical_IO, CPU
and/or Memusage columns will increase over time. Duration for the query will be
high when completed.|
but SPID can be killed.||An attention signal may be seen in the Profiler
trace for this SPID, indicating a query timeout or cancel has occurred.|
Will not resolve until client fetches all rows or closes connection. SPID can
be killed, but it may take up to 30 seconds.||If open_tran = 0, and the SPID holds locks while the transaction isolation
level is default (READ COMMMITTED), this is a likely cause.|
Will not resolve until client cancels queries or closes connections. SPIDs can
be killed, but may take up to 30 seconds.||The hostname column in sysprocesses for the SPID at the head of a blocking chain will be the same as
one of the SPID it is blocking.|
attention signal may be seen in the Profiler trace for this SPID, indicating a
query timeout or cancel has occurred, or simply a rollback statement has been
When Windows NT determines the session is no longer active, the SQL Server
connection will be broken.||The last_batch value in sysprocesses is much earlier than the current time.|
Common Blocking Scenarios and Resolutions
The scenarios listed below will have the characteristics listed
in the table above. This section provides additional details when applicable,
as well as paths to resolution.
- Blocking Caused by a Normally Running Query with a Long Execution Time
The solution to this type of blocking problem is to look for
ways to optimize the query. Actually, this class of blocking problem may just
be a performance problem, and require you to pursue it as such. For information
on troubleshooting a specific slow-running query, see the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
For overall application performance
troubleshooting, see the following Knowledge Base article:
How to troubleshoot slow-running queries on SQL Server 7.0 or on later versions
For more information, see the Performance Monitoring and Tuning How-to Topics SQL Server 2008 Books Online topic on the following MSDN Web site: If you have a long-running query that is blocking
other users and cannot be optimized, consider moving it from an OLTP
environment to a decision support system.
HOW TO: Troubleshoot Application Performance with SQL Server
- Blocking Caused by a Sleeping SPID That Has Lost Track of the Transaction Nesting Level
This type of blocking can often be identified by a SPID
that is sleeping or awaiting a command, yet whose transaction nesting level
(@@TRANCOUNT, open_tran from sysprocesses) is greater than zero. This can occur if the application
experiences a query timeout, or issues a cancel without also issuing the
required number of ROLLBACK and/or COMMIT statements. When a SPID receives a
query timeout or cancel, it will terminate the current query and batch, but
does not automatically roll back or commit the transaction. The application is
responsible for this, as SQL Server cannot assume that an entire transaction
must be rolled back simply due to a single query being canceled. The query
timeout or cancel will appear as an ATTENTION signal event for the SPID in the
To demonstrate this, issue the following simple query
from Query Analyzer:
While the query is executing, click the red Cancel button. After the query is canceled, SELECT @@TRANCOUNT indicates
that the transaction nesting level is one. Had this been a DELETE or an UPDATE
query, or had HOLDLOCK been used on the SELECT, all the locks acquired would
still be held. Even with the query above, if another query had acquired and
held locks earlier in the transaction, they would still be held when the above
SELECT was canceled.
SELECT * FROM SYSOBJECTS S1, SYSOBJECTS S2
-- Issue this after canceling query
- Applications must properly manage transaction nesting
levels, or they may cause a blocking problem following the cancellation of the
query in this manner. This can be accomplished in one of several ways:
- In the error handler of the client application,
submit an IF @@TRANCOUNT > 0 ROLLBACK TRAN following any error, even if the
client application does not believe a transaction is open. This is required,
because a stored procedure called during the batch could have started a
transaction without the client application's knowledge. Note that certain
conditions, such as canceling the query, prevent the procedure from executing
past the current statement, so even if the procedure has logic to check IF
@@ERROR <> 0 and abort the transaction, this rollback code will not be
executed in such cases.
- Use SET XACT_ABORT ON for the connection, or in any
stored procedures which begin transactions and are not cleaning up following an
error. In the event of a run-time error, this setting will abort any open
transactions and return control to the client. Note that T-SQL statements
following the statement which caused the error will not be executed.
- If connection pooling is being used in an
application that opens the connection and runs a small number of queries before
releasing the connection back to the pool, such as a Web-based application,
temporarily disabling connection pooling may help alleviate the problem until
the client application is modified to handle the errors appropriately. By
disabling connection pooling, releasing the connection will cause a physical
logout of the SQL Server connection, resulting in the server rolling back any
- If connection pooling is enabled and the
destination server is SQL Server 2000, upgrading the client computer to MDAC
2.6 or later may be beneficial. This version of the MDAC components adds code
to the ODBC driver and OLE DB provider so that the connection would be "reset"
before it is reused. This call to sp_reset_connection aborts any
server-initiated transactions (DTC transactions initiated by the client app are
not affected), resets the default database, SET options, and so forth. Note
that the connection is not reset until it is reused from the connection pool,
so it is possible that a user could open a transaction and then release the
connection to the connection pool, but it might not be reused for several
seconds, during which time the transaction would remain open. If the connection
is not reused, the transaction will be aborted when the connection times out
and is removed from the connection pool. Thus, it is optimal for the client
application to abort transactions in their error handler or use SET XACT_ABORT
ON to avoid this potential delay.
- Actually, this class of blocking problem may also be a
performance problem, and require you to pursue it as such. If the query
execution time can be diminished, the query timeout or cancel would not occur.
It is important that the application be able to handle the timeout or cancel
scenarios should they arise, but you may also benefit from examining the
performance of the query.
- Blocking Caused by a SPID Whose Corresponding Client Application Did Not Fetch All Result Rows to Completion
After sending a query to the server, all applications
must immediately fetch all result rows to completion. If an application does
not fetch all result rows, locks can be left on the tables, blocking other
users. If you are using an application that transparently submits SQL
statements to the server, the application must fetch all result rows. If it
does not (and if it cannot be configured to do so), you may be unable to
resolve the blocking problem. To avoid the problem, you can restrict
poorly-behaved applications to a reporting or a decision-support
The application must be re-written to fetch all rows of
the result to completion.
- Blocking Caused by a Distributed Client/Server Deadlock
Unlike a conventional deadlock, a distributed deadlock
is not detectable using the RDBMS lock manager. This is due to the fact that
only one of the resources involved in the deadlock is a SQL Server lock. The
other side of the deadlock is at the client application level, over which SQL
Server has no control. The following are two examples of how this can happen,
and possible ways the application can avoid it.
Both examples A and B are fundamental issues that
application developers must be aware of. They must code applications to handle
these cases appropriately.
- Client/Server Distributed Deadlock with a Single Client
If the client has multiple open connections, and a single thread of
execution, the following distributed deadlock may occur. For brevity, the term
"dbproc" used here refers to the client connection structure.
In the case shown above, a single client application thread has
two open connections. It asynchronously submits a SQL operation on dbproc1.
This means it does not wait on the call to return before proceeding. The
application then submits another SQL operation on dbproc2, and awaits the
results to start processing the returned data. When data starts coming back
(whichever dbproc first responds -- assume this is dbproc1), it processes to
completion all the data returned on that dbproc. It fetches results from
dbproc1 until SPID1 gets blocked on a lock held by SPID2 (because the two
queries are running asynchronously on the server). At this point, dbproc1 will
wait indefinitely for more data. SPID2 is not blocked on a lock, but tries to
send data to its client, dbproc2. However, dbproc2 is effectively blocked on
dbproc1 at the application layer as the single thread of execution for the
application is in use by dbproc1. This results in a deadlock that SQL Server
cannot detect or resolve because only one of the resources involved is a SQL
SPID1------blocked on lock------->SPID2
/\ (waiting to write results
| back to client)
| | Server side
| <-- single thread --> | Client side
dbproc1 <------------------- dbproc2
(waiting to fetch (effectively blocked on dbproc1, awaiting
next row) single thread of execution to run)
- Client/Server Distributed Deadlock with a Thread per
Even if a separate thread exists for each connection on
the client, a variation of this distributed deadlock may still occur as shown
by the following.
This case is similar to Example A, except dbproc2 and SPID2 are
running a SELECT statement with the intention of performing row-at-a-time
processing and handing each row through a buffer to dbproc1 for an INSERT,
UPDATE, or DELETE statement on the same table. Eventually, SPID1 (performing
the INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE) becomes blocked on a lock held by SPID2
(performing the SELECT). SPID2 writes a result row to the client dbproc2.
Dbproc2 then tries to pass the row in a buffer to dbproc1, but finds dbproc1 is
busy (it is blocked waiting on SPID1 to finish the current INSERT, which is
blocked on SPID2). At this point, dbproc2 is blocked at the application layer
by dbproc1 whose SPID (SPID1) is blocked at the database level by SPID2. Again,
this results in a deadlock that SQL Server cannot detect or resolve because
only one of the resources involved is a SQL Server resource.
SPID1------blocked on lock-------->SPID2
/\ (waiting on net write) Server side
| INSERT |SELECT
| <-- thread per dbproc --> | Client side
dbproc1 <-----data row------- dbproc2
(waiting on (blocked on dbproc1, waiting for it
insert) to read the row from its buffer)
Two reliable solutions are to use either a query
timeout or bound connections.
- Query Timeout
When a query timeout has been
provided, if the distributed deadlock occurs, it will be broken when then
timeout happens. See the DB-Library or ODBC documentation for more information
on using a query timeout.
- Bound Connections
This feature allows a client
having multiple connections to bind them into a single transaction space, so
the connections do not block each other. For more information, see the "Using
Bound Connections" topic in SQL Server 7.0 Books Online.
- Blocking Caused by a SPID That Is in a "Golden," or Rollback, State
A data modification query that is KILLed, or canceled
outside of a user-defined transaction, will be rolled back. This can also occur
as a side effect of the client computer restarting and its network session
disconnecting. Likewise, a query selected as the deadlock victim will be rolled
back. A data modification query often cannot be rolled back any faster than the
changes were initially applied. For example, if a DELETE, INSERT, or UPDATE
statement had been running for an hour, it could take at least an hour to roll
back. This is expected behavior, because the changes made must be completely
rolled back, or transactional and physical integrity in the database would be
compromised. Because this must happen, SQL Server marks the SPID in a "golden"
or rollback state (which means it cannot be KILLed or selected as a deadlock
victim). This can often be identified by observing the output of sp_who, which may indicate the ROLLBACK command. The Status column of sys.sysprocesses will indicate a ROLLBACK status, which will also appear in sp_who output or in SQL Server Management Studio Activity Monitor.
You must wait for the SPID to finish rolling back the
changes that were made.
If the server is shut down in the midst of
this operation, the database will be in recovery mode upon restarting, and it
will be inaccessible until all open transactions are processed. Startup
recovery takes essentially the same amount of time per transaction as run-time
recovery, and the database is inaccessible during this period. Thus, forcing
the server down to fix a SPID in a rollback state will often be
To avoid this situation, do not perform large
batch INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE operations during busy hours on OLTP systems.
If possible, perform such operations during periods of low activity.
- Blocking Caused by an Orphaned Connection
If the client application traps or the client
workstation is restarted, the network session to the server may not be
immediately canceled under some conditions. From the server's perspective, the
client still appears to be present, and any locks acquired may still be
For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to troubleshoot orphaned connections in SQL Server
If the client application has disconnected without
appropriately cleaning up its resources, you can terminate the SPID by using
the KILL command. The KILL command takes the SPID value as input. For example,
to kill SPID 9, simply issue the following command:
Note The KILL command may take up to 30 seconds to complete, due to
the interval between checks for the KILL command.
Application Involvement in Blocking Problems
There may be a tendency to focus on server-side tuning and
platform issues when facing a blocking problem. However, this does not usually
lead to a resolution, and can absorb time and energy better directed at
examining the client application and the queries it submits. No matter what
level of visibility the application exposes regarding the database calls being
made, a blocking problem nonetheless frequently requires both the inspection of
the exact SQL statements submitted by the application and the application's
exact behavior regarding query cancellation, connection management, fetching
all result rows, and so on. If the development tool does not allow explicit
control over connection management, query cancellation, query timeout, result
fetching, and so on, blocking problems may not be resolvable. This potential
should be closely examined before selecting an application development tool for
SQL Server, especially for business-critical OLTP environments.
vital that great care be exercised during the design and construction phase of
the database and application. In particular, the resource consumption,
isolation level, and transaction path length should be evaluated for each
query. Each query and transaction should be as lightweight as possible. Good
connection management discipline must be exercised. If this is not done, it is
possible that the application may appear to have acceptable performance at low
numbers of users, but the performance may degrade significantly as the number
of users scales upward.
With proper application and query design,
Microsoft SQL Server is capable of supporting many thousands of simultaneous
users on a single server, with little blocking.