Plansplaining, part 3. How repeating work saves time

This is the third post in the plansplaining series. Each of these blog posts focuses on a sample execution plan that exposes an uncommon and interesting pattern, and details exactly how that plan works. In the first post, I covered each individual step of each operator in great detail, to make sure that everyone understands exactly how operators work in the pull-based execution plans. In this post (and all future installments), I will leave out the details that I now assume to be known to my readers. If you did not read part 1 already, I suggest you start there.…
Read More

SSMS hidden gem: Edit Query Text

When I am tuning a query, I usually start with the query text. I execute it to retrieve an execution plan, and then the fun starts. However, very often I first need to find the specific query (or queries) to tune. There are multiple ways to do this, depending on what monitoring tools and which version of SQL Server the customer uses. In some cases, I at first find only an execution plan. Now I do like to see execution plans when tuning, but I also need to have the query! The old method So here is an example of…
Read More

Execution plans 101: (back to) The basics

3 Comments
I recently received an email from a reader of this blog. Specifically of the plansplaining posts. He wrote that he enjoyed reading it, but he still had some questions. Those questions made me realize that I made a mistake when I started this series. I dove in at the deep end. I assumed a lot of prior knowledge and experience with reading execution plans, but not every reader has that knowledge and that experience. So I decided that for this one post, I will move from the deep end of the pool to the shallow water. In this post I…
Read More

T-SQL Tuesday #99: Dealer’s Choice

No Comments
Back in 2009, Adam Machanic (b|t) started an initiative that is still going strong: T-SQL Tuesday. This is a monthly blog party. Every second Tuesday of each month, lots of people blog about the same topic, selected by the host for that month. And now, in the 99th installment, I decided to finally join in! For February 2018, our host Aaron Bertrand (b|t) has elected to give bloggers a choice: either share some of the non-tech things that we are passionate about; or go all Aaron-style and tell the world what we consider the worst T-SQL habits that we really…
Read More

Plansplaining, part 2. Why scan and spool instead of seek?

4 Comments
This is the second post in the plansplaining series. Each of these blog posts focuses on a sample execution plan and details exactly how that plan works. In the first post, I covered each individual step of each operator in great detail, to make sure that everyone understands exactly how operators work in the pull-based execution plans. In this post (and all future installments), I will leave out the details that I now assume to be known to my readers. If you did not read part 1 already, I suggest you start there. Sample query The query in this post…
Read More

Plansplaining, part 1. The unexpected aggregation and assert

When I look at an execution plan I sometimes right away see how the operators work together. Other times I need to dive into the details and put in effort before I really understand it. And occasionally, I think I understand but then am proven wrong after I start looking at the details. However, understanding all the details of an execution plan is really important when you want to optimize performance. If I see an execution plan where I do not understand the role of each and every operator, I know I do not truly understand how the query is…
Read More

The many (too many?) reads of a many to many Merge Join

3 Comments
SQL Server’s optimizer can choose between four different physical operators for joining data. The Merge Join operator is usually the best choice if the input data is already sorted by the join columns. It processes both inputs at the same time, every time advancing the input that has the lowest value of the join key. This algorithm, known as “balance line processing” back in the olden days of magnetic tape storage, always finds all matches with just a single pass over each of the inputs. One to many One of the most important properties in a Merge Join operator is…
Read More

Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome

No Comments
It may be surprising to see a word of welcome posted in December 2017, on a blog that has posts going back as far as 2006. And yet, this is my very first new blog post on this site. All the content before this post was originally published at SQLblog.com. SQLblog.com is a fantastic website that hosts many bloggers. It has hosted me for almost twelve years as well. But it was time to move house, to create a new website for the content I have planned for the future. For now, this website is just my blog. But that…
Read More

Three new sessions in three months

1 Comment
Waking up from my blog-hibernation at this time is probably not ideal. I should spend my time on other things. For instance, on creating slide decks and demo code for the three completely new sessions that I will be delivering at various conferences within the next three months. So why am I still taking the time to write this? Because I am super excited about these new sessions, that’s why! Hash Match, the Operator The idea for this session is now almost two years old. I cannot remember why, during break time at another conference, I found myself wondering whether…
Read More

Misconceptions on parameter sniffing

6 Comments
In my previous post, I explained the basic of parameter sniffing, and then built on that to explain the lesser known mechanics of variable sniffing and cardinality sniffing. However, I also sneakily inserted a few comments on misconceptions about the performance impact of parameter sniffing, with the promise to explain in more detail later. Well … it is later now, so here is the promised explanation! Parameter sniffing’s bad rep Lots of people in the SQL Server field will claim that parameter sniffing is a bad feature. That is not the case. Just think about it for a moment –…
Read More
Menu

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close