One story I hear over and over goes like this: I tried setting up Extended Events, but then I saw the output was XML so I stopped.
Look, I get it. I don’t like XML either. It’s a pain to work with. It’s actively difficult to write queries against it. If there weren’t a ton of ways to avoid the XML, yeah, I would never advocate for Extended Events. However, here we are, I have ten pages of blog posts that at least mention Extended Events. Why? Because I avoid the XML (most of the time). Lots of other people do as well. You can too. Let’s see how.
Click through for two such methods. Another thing I might note is that quite often, you only need to mess with the XML once to set up your session and once to set up how you’ll view and handle your results. If you’re constantly writing XPath queries from scratch to work with Extended Events, that’s by choice.