Month: December 2020

Plansplaining, part 14. Foreign keys, part 3

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Welcome to part fourteen of the plansplaining series, where I wrap up the mini-series on how simple foreign keys have huge effects on execution plans for data modifications. We already looked at inserting data in the referencing (child) table, and at deleting data from the referenced (parent) table as well as updates in the child table. We did not and will not look at deleting from the child table or inserting in the parent table: those operations can by default never violate the foreign key constraint, so no additional logic is needed. So that means there is only one thing…

Plansplaining, part 13. Foreign keys, part 2

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Welcome to part thirteen of the plansplaining series. In this part I continue the exploration of how execution plans check foreign keys on data modification. In the previous part, we looked at foreign key checking when data is inserted. Inserts in the referencing (child) table can, by definition, not cause foreign key violations, so no checking is done in those cases. But for inserts in the referenced (parent) table, SQL Server needs to check that the inserted value does indeed exist. We saw how both the Nested Loops and the Merge Join operators have some specific optimizations to do that…
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