A Beginner’s Guide to Code Level Insights

As a budding developer in the early stages of your journey, you may be intimidated by many aspects of coding, but particularly those involving Application Insights. If you’re just starting out in this field, you’re about to enter a world that will be entirely new to you. In this world, they speak an entirely different language, there are many new phrases and definitions to learn, and you’ll ultimately spend years of your life familiarizing yourself with all things coding related.

Are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to take the plunge? If so, we believe you should spend some time going over our beginner’s guide to code level insights. This will help you garner a basic understanding of Microsoft Insights; provide some tips and tricks, and also a warning or two. After you’re through, you’ll have an enough knowledge and understanding to get your foot in the door as you begin your career as a developer.

While you’re at it, it’s also wise to learn about load testing. To gain great knowledge and insight about this practice, we recommend reading what is load testing? Examples, tutorials & more.

Discovering Slow SQL Queries Is a Key Limitation

The best thing about Application Insights is its reporting. You can get information so detailed including the database name and server being accessed, that’s just how thorough the reporting features are.

Unfortunately, when it comes to individual queries, there’s no way to see how long these are going to take, and the entire process is very slow, which makes it really difficult to deal with. When you’re in a rush, this slow process may even seem painful when you need your SQL queries much faster.

Are you using SQL Azure? It has some tuning advisory functions built into the program, which will certainly make a difference. So look into that and see if there’s any way to speed up queries even further.

The Information Provided on SQL Query Times Is Not Necessarily Correct Every Time

As a beginner, you may not realize that the SQL query times aren’t always going to be correct. As a matter of fact, as far as the timings are concerned, the only thing you actually get to see is the amount of time it takes to actually execute the query on the server.

As an example, let’s say you run a simple query. Even if the simple query happens to select a large amount of data, it’s not always going to appear that the query took as long as it actually did. In fact, it’s quite possible that it will take much more time to technically download the true query results.

In another example, if the query says that it takes 83 milliseconds, this isn’t always going to be the truth. In fact, when it comes to the download, it could take another 60 milliseconds to download and then iterate the overall results. So you have to look at your requests and see if there are missing time gaps. This scenario could create this problem, and this is especially true if you’re returning an ample amount of data.

A Warning about Dynamic SQL Queries and Sensitive Data

Although it may not seem like it on the surface, it’s important to note that using code with dynamic SQL and Application Insights means that the full query will be collected and then uploaded to Azure.

What does this mean? Simply put, it means any private data including credit card numbers and personal information was uploaded to Microsoft’s server. So keep that in mind in the future about dynamic SQL queries.


As you can imagine, we’ve just scratched the surface with information regarding code level insights. If you really like coding and you like the challenge it presents, you’re in for a treat so focus, learn the ropes, and you’ll continue to improve in this rewarding field.

Author: Wendy Dessler

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