Database Mail Configuration Error 264

As most of you know, the Database Mail feature in SQL Server 2008 is the life blood of any notification system for your instances.  If Database Mail fails to send notifications, you may not be warned if a job fails, or worst, a backup job.  We had a server last week that was exhibiting a weird behavior within Database Mail.  I was receiving mail from all parts of the Database Mail environment except for Agent Job Notifications.  I was able to send test emails from Database Mail, able to receive maintenance plan summary reports and even receive emails from within maintenance plans using the notification task.  Why was Agent Job Notifications the only area that was mis-behaving?  As I started diagnosing the issue I checked the main areas that usually stumped me in the past:

  • Verified database mail profile was enabled under SQL Server agent (Alert System Page)
  • Verified profile security was public and default
  • Restarted SQL Server Agent

The above three items usually resolved any issue I have with Database Mail.  Did some more testing with my Agent Job and sure enough, still not working.  Then I started digging into the logs, under SQL Server 2008 you can see logs from SQL Server, SQL Server Agent, Database Mail, and Windows all under the same screen.  I dove into the Database Mail Log and there was an error for “[264] An attempt was made to send an email when no email session has been established”.  Never seen this before.  I started searching Google and found similar issues but none seemed to fit my situation or solve my problem.  Because we have a simple setup for Database Mail, one account and one profile, I decided to rebuilt the configuration.

I deleted the profile and account, and then went back in and went through a complete rebuilt of the configuration.  I used the same account and same profile settings as before. After I had the Database Mail configuration complete, I needed to make sure the profile was enabled under SQL Server Agent.  Right click on SQL Server Agent and click Properties.  Under the Alert System page, make sure Enable Database Mail is enabled and that your mail system is selected along with the correct profile name.  With that done, I need to restart the SQL Server Agent.  Upon restart the 264 error did not appear and I was able to receive emails from my Agent Job Notifications.  Don’t know what caused the issue in the first place, but the rebuild seemed to clear things up.

Doug Purnell
sqlnikon@gmail.com
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#meme15 for Twitter

Jason Strate (blog|Twitter) has started a new meme project about social networking for SQL Server professionals.  This month’s theme is all about Twitter.  We have been asked to answer the following two questions:

  1. Why should the average Jane or Joe professional consider using Twitter?
  2. What benefit have you seen in your career because of Twitter?

I consider myself an average Joe SQL Server professional.  I’m a DBA for a private University and enjoy solving business problems with data.  Up until June of 2010, I did not have a Twitter account and was not involved in the #SQLFamily.  When I was getting back into the DBA field after going to the dark side (management) for a few years, I found Twitter as the catalysts for learning.  I was able to follow a few big hitters in the #SQLFamily and with in the first day, started reading tweets for webcasts and blog posts.

This is the key for me using Twitter, there is so much good information posted everyday to keep you informed about SQL Server topics.  The beauty of Twitter is most of the #SQLFamily don’t post the same as your friends do on Facebook.  Twitter has become a medium for disseminating information.  Now, there are plenty of tweets from celebrities and even your friends that are just plain noise, this is where the #SQLFamily stands out.  Most of the people I follow tweet about topics related to SQL Server.  I enjoy reading new blogs and being notified of webcasts where I can learn new things.

As I stated earlier, I found Twitter as my means of getting back into the DBA world.  I started with Brent Ozar’s Twitter Book and created an account.  From there it was as easy as following Brent Ozar (blog|Twitter), Glenn Berry (blog|Twitter), Thomas Larock (blog|Twitter) and Aaron Bertrand (blog|Twitter).  From just those four people, I was introduced to so many more and started following them.  Each time I started following someone new, I was introduced to few other people and the Twitter snowball kept growing.  As of Jan 2012, I’m following ~150 people and it’s hard to keep up during the day and usually spend nights catching up on all the tweets for the day.

The benefits of Twitter helped me land a great DBA job in higher education.  I had plenty of experience under SQL Server 2000 & 2005 but only limited direct interaction with SQL Server 2008 & 2008 R2.  This is where the webcasts and blogs that I was notified about on Twitter helped me fill the gaps and use that knowledge to practice in my home lab.  Without Twitter, I would have not had the #SQLFamily behind me and would have struggled getting back in the game.

Doug Purnell
sqlnikon@gmail.com

2012 To Do’s for #SQLFamily

As I sat down and wrote out my goals for 2012 for my job, they didn’t take into account my blogging, user groups and #SQLFamily.  This is why this is a perfect #mememonday project.  You can read more about #mememonday here from Thomas Larock (Blog, Twitter).

I’m fairly new to the #SQLFamily.  I didn’t start getting involved till June 2011 and up to now, didn’t participate in monthly blogging like #mememonday or #tsql2sday.  For the past 8 months have just been digesting information like I was eating at Golden Corral.  Twitter, webcasts and RSS feeds can take hours a day to stay updated.  I still find it hard to get through all the Twitter feeds a day and finally had to limit the number of RSS subscriptions under Google Reader so those didn’t get behind as well.  As I write this, I can see TweetDeck notifications going off every few minutes.

So here are my personal goals list for #SQLFamily in 2012:

  1. Continue to attend Triad PASS and Triad BI PASS.  The part that I’m going to work on this month is to blogging about my experiences.  I’ve seen a few other posts related to this item and thought it was a great idea.  This will help others that have not started, to attend their local PASS chapters to see the topics discussed how much fun they are.
  2. Start attending the virtual PASS chapters.  There are some great virtual chapters held every week that discuss topics that you may not otherwise receive at your local events.  Here to, I aim to blog about each one to keep my writing skills fresh.
  3. Present at Triad PASS in June 2012.  Our local Triad PASS chapter leader, Kevin Goode, asked me to present and I decided to jump in.  This will be my first time ever presenting anything outside of lunch and learns through work.  I have not picked a topic yet, but because I started a new job in November 2011, I’m thinking about walking though my management processes for my new SQL Server instances.
  4. Stay involved in #mememonday events.  This was started by Thomas Larock  (Blog, Twitter) and I’m looking forward to these monthly blogs. This is a great way to blog about something that you otherwise may not write about.  I feel too many times and get in my comfort zone of daily DBA tasks and don’t stretch my boundaries to learn new things with in SQL Server.
  5. Start blogging for #tsql2sday.  This was started by Adam Machanic (blogTwitter) and just like with #mememonday, will give me the opportunity to participate in blogs about items I’m unfamiliar with.  This will require researching a topic and writing about it.  I’m looking forward to this one.
  6. Midnight DBA.  Sean (blog, Twitter) and Jen (blogTwitter) make this live broadcast a blast.  I’m guilty of falling asleep before the show starts but my goal this year is to catch at least 2 shows a month live.  The pre and post shows are just as fun as the main show.  They cover technical topics with a fun twist and their sense of humor keeps me laughing through the entire show.  This will be another event that I plan to blog about.
  7. Brent Ozar PLF’s Tech Triage Tuesday.  This is a great half hour weekly webcast that covers all aspects of SQL Server.  Brent Ozar (blog, Twitter) and his team, cover topics from performance tuning to SANs, each week is a must see.  As you can guess, I’m going to blog about these as well.

My goals this year for #SQLFamily are all around bringing awareness to the training opportunities that are available to everyone.  Whether you are able to attend these events live or watch them from the comfort of your home, my goal is to spark interest in all the events.  This is how I was introduced to #SQLFamily back in June 2011 and I hope I can do the same for other SQL Server DBAs and developers out there.

Have a great year #SQLFamily,

Doug Purnell
sqlnikon@gmail.com