Notification emails telling a DBA that something failed are all-well-an-good, but if you don’t get any emails, how can you be sure the notification system is working?

The simplest solutions are often the best. I’ve taken to scheduling an 8am job (on every SQL Server that runs jobs) called ‘Notification Heartbeat’ that contains just an empty step. It’s own notification configuration is set to email the ‘DBA’ operator every time it succeeds.

Of course, I then have an Outlook rule that moves them (all with ‘Heartbeat’ in the subject), to the ‘DBA’ folder so I dont have to read them every day.

Now when my morning inbox is suspiciously empty – I have a way to verify that the Notification system was tested end-to-end at 8am.

NOTE: I used to try combining the notification-test with actual working Jobs like Backups, but this is simpler and the message value is clearer.

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