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SQL agent, also known as SQL server agent, is a Microsoft SQL server relational database management system (RDBMS) background tool. SQL agent allows the database administrator (DBA) to schedule automated execution jobs, as well other management or value-added database tasks such as backups.
SQL agent is an integral part of Microsoft’s SQL Server. It runs as a windows service only and allows for the handling of a wide variety of tasks such as backup automation, database replication setup, job scheduling, user permissions and database monitoring.
These tasks do not necessarily have to be related to SQL Server. For example, a daily backup job may be created to use a database backup to call an external program (e.g., WinZip) to compress the backup file result, and then relocate the file by invoking the MOVE command.
SQL agent jobs are a series of steps that use a graphical user interface (GUI) wizard, allowing DBAs at every experience level to set up jobs comprised of a complex series of tasks. After setting up a job, the DBA can schedule an execution frequency; for example, it could be one-time only, daily, weekly or monthly.