Tutorial: Add the five slowest queries sample widget to the database dashboard

This tutorial demonstrates the process of adding one of SQL Operations Studio (preview)'s built-in sample widgets to the database dashboard to quickly view a database's five slowest queries. You also learn how to view the details of the slow queries and query plans using SQL Operations Studio (preview)'s features. During this tutorial, you learn how to:

  • Enable Query Store on a database
  • Add a pre-built insight widget to the database dashboard
  • View details about the database's slowest queries
  • View query execution plans for the slow queries

SQL Operations Studio (preview) includes several insight widgets out-of-the-box. This tutorial shows how to add the query-data-store-db-insight widget, but the steps are basically the same for adding any widget.


This tutorial requires the SQL Server or Azure SQL Database TutorialDB. To create the TutorialDB database, complete one of the following quickstarts:

Turn on Query Store for your database

The widget in this example requires Query Store to be enabled so run the following Transact-SQL (T-SQL) statement against your database:


Add an insight widget to your Database Dashboard

To add an insight widget to your dashboard, edit the dashboard.database.widgets setting in your User Settings file.

  1. Open User Settings by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P to open the Command Palette.
  2. Type settings in the search box and from the available settings files, select Preferences: Open User Settings.

    Open user settings command

  3. Type dashboard in the settings search box and locate dashboard.database.widgets.

    Search settings

  4. To customize the dashboard.database.widgets setting, hover over the pencil icon to the left of the dashboard.database.widgets text, click Edit > Copy to Settings.

  5. After copying the settings for dashboard.database.widgets, place your cursor at the end of the line after the opening bracket, press Enter, and add a curly brace like the following (the closing brace will automatically appear):

    "dashboard.database.widgets": [
  6. With your cursor inside the curly braces, press Ctrl+Space and select name.
  7. Finish setting up the widget so it looks like the following:

     "dashboard.database.widgets": [
             "name": "slow queries widget",
             "gridItemConfig": {
                 "sizex": 2,
                 "sizey": 1
             "widget": {
                 "query-data-store-db-insight": null
  8. Press Ctrl+S to save the modified User Settings.

  9. Open the Database dashboard by navigating to TutorialDB in the Servers sidebar, right-click, and select Manage.

    Open dashboard

  10. The insight widget appears on the dashboard:

    QDS widget

View insight details for more information

  1. To view additional information for an insight widget, click the ellipses (...) in the upper right, and select Show Details.
  2. To show more details for an item, select any item in Chart Data list.

    Insight detail dialog

  3. Right-click query_sql_txt in Item Details and click Copy Cell.

  4. Close the Insights pane.

View the query plan

  1. Open a new query editor by pressing Ctrl+N.

  2. Paste the query text from the previous steps into the editor.

  3. Click Explain.

    Insight QDS Explain

  4. View the query's execution plan:


Save and open a query plan

  1. Open the insight detail dialog.
  2. Select one of the query items.
  3. Right-click query_plan value and select Copy Cell

    Insights QDS plan

  4. Press Ctrl+N to open a new editor.

  5. Paste the copied plan into the editor.

  6. Press Ctrl+S to save the file, and change the file extension to .sqlplan. For this tutorial, name the file slowquery.sqlplan.

  7. The query plan opens in SQL Operations Studio (preview)'s query plan viewer:

    Insights QDS plan

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned how to:

  • Enable Query Store on a database
  • Add an insight widget to the database dashboard
  • View details about the database's slowest queries
  • View query execution plans for the slow queries

To learn how to enable the table space usage sample insight, complete the next tutorial: