Keeping records of your database activity is important to keeping it humming along. Corruptions can usually be traced to single entry or access. For the same reason you keep records of activity, you should also keep track of maintenance.
You can create a detailed summary of the actions that your maintenance plan took into a history table within the msdb database. It doesn't matter whether the msdb database is located on the server that stores the plan or another server of your choice.
You create this history by setting several options in the Database Maintenance Plan wizard. The first option is enabling the write history and specifying the location it is stored on. To place the history on the server where the plan is created, use the msdb.dbo.sysdbmaintplan_history Table on the Local Server. You can also limit the rows in the table using the second option in the wizard. If you set a size that is exceeded, SQL Server deletes the oldest data in the table and replaces it with the newest data, FIFO, or first in first out. Should you decide to record the history to a remote server, the third option in the wizard lets you do that by specifying the name of the server and the path to the msdb database that you want to use.
Barrie Sosinsky is president of consulting company Sosinsky and Associates (Medfield MA). He has written extensively on a variety of computer topics. His company specializes in custom software (database and Web related), training and technical documentation.
This was first published in March 2005