Monitoring in HQBird

In the version 2018, HQBird introduces the new approach for the automatic performance monitoring with Firebird MON$ tables and TraceAPI.

Now it is possible to schedule the regular check of database performance for every HQBird (Standard, Professional, Enterprise) in less than 1 minute.

For this just open tab Performance and setup monitoring for transactions and queries:


In order to setup Performance monitoring, specify its mandatory parameters in the dialog:

The first mandatory parameter is «Enable performance monitoring» - it must be enabled to run traces by schedule.

The next important parameters are «Start trace session at» and «Stop trace session». They contain CRON expressions which specify when tracing starts and stops.

By default, trace is set to start at 10-30 and to end at 11-00. It is recommended to adopt tracing schedule for your needs. Below you can see the table with some popular options.

CRON expression for Description
Start End  
0 0 * ? * * 0 10 * ? * * Run trace every hour from 0 to 10 minutes
0 0 8 ? * * 0 0 17 ? * * Run trace every day from 8-00 to 17-00
0 30 10,13,15 ? * * 0 0 11,14,16 ? * * Run trace sessions every day from 10-30 to 11-00, 13-30 to 14-00 and from 15-30 to 16-00
The next important parameter is time threshold for the slow queries, it is set in the field «Log SQLs with execution time more than». In this field you need to set time threshold (in milliseconds), after exceeding it logs will be stored and analyzed.

By default, the time is set to 1000 milliseconds, or 1 second. It means, that only queries which take more than 1 seconds, will be logged and analyzed.

We recommend keeping 1000 ms as a basic value, until your database is very slow: in this case 3000-5000 ms can be a good start.

«Send email» checkmark indicates if there necessity to send the performance report. The email settings from Alerts configuration will be used to send performance report.

For more advanced settings, «Performance Monitoring» dialog has additional parameters (normally, you don't need to adjust them).

  • «Configuration template» - name of the configuration template file which should be used for trace settings
  • «Database filter» - how the database should be identified. Usually AUTO is enough, it will trace specified database. In case of Filename or Alias it will use filename or alias to filter database events. «Manual» provides an ability to set any regular expression, to trace several databases, for example, or more than one alias for the single database.
  • «Database name filter» it is used in case of «MANUAL» selection.
  • «Trace format» - AUTO means automatic selection, 2.5 or 3.0 will force format for 2.5 or 3.0. Usually there is no need to change it.
  • «Keep recent reports» - it specifies how many reports should be kept in the «Output folder» for possible retrospective usage.


As a result of this job, HQbird will generate the performance report, which will be stored in the Output folder as a file with the extension html, and it will be sent by email (in case if «Send email» is enabled).

Also the most recent performance is available for review and download in the HQBird interface:

What can we see in the performance report?

The HQbird FBDataGuard performance analysis provides 2 types of reports: list of queries sorted by their time and the most frequent queries.

When you click «Sort by duration» (it is a default option), you will see SQL queries and stored procedures which took the longest time to execute first.

Normally there will be long-running reports and other big SQLs.

When you click on «Sort by frequency» link in the header of the report, you will see most frequent queries: i.e., those queries which started frequently and took the most part of the time (among logged queries).

For example, in this case the statement SP_GETINVOICE_REPORT was run 46 times and took 53 seconds from total 186 seconds. It means that this query heavily affects the overall performance, and it should be optimized first.

To see details of the most frequent query, click in the link «View details» in the bottom of the query text:

As a result, you will see the longest query among the queries with the same SQL text, with its execution plan, execution statistics and input parameters. This information is enough to analyze and optimize SQL query in Firebird SQL Studio or other developer IDE.