Difference between Session and Connection in SQL Server?

Sessions – when the client application connects to SQL Server the two sides establish a “session” on which to exchange information. Stric...


  • Sessions – when the client application connects to SQL Server the two sides establish a “session” on which to exchange information. Strictly speaking a session is not the same as the underlying physical connection, it is a SQL Server logical representation of a connection. But for practical purposes, you can think of this as being a connection (session =~ connection). See sys.dm_exec_sessions. This is the old SPID that existed in SQL Server 2000 and earlier. You may sometimes notice a single session repeating multiple times in a DMV output. This happens because of parallel queries. A parallel query uses the same session to communicate with the client, but on the SQL Server side multiple worker (threads) are assigned to service this request. So if you see multiple rows with the same session ID, know that the query request is being serviced by multiple threads.


  • Connections – this is the actual physical connection established at the lower protocol level with all of its characteristics sys.dm_exec_connections . There is a 1:1 mapping between a Session and a Connection.

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