The Result “operator” is not actually an operator. It is the name that is given to the top-left operator in an execution plan for a SELECT statement. This top-left operator is actually a representation of the client, that fires the query and requests rows, to trigger the actual execution of the execution plan.

In the execution plan, the Result operator is not called “Result”, but SELECT. Execution plans for queries that are for statements other than SELECT typically don’t use the Result “operator”, but the Language Element “operator”, which looks different, but has the same function. In an execution plan only (also known as “estimated plan”), you can also encounter the Cond “operator” for IF and WHILE statements, and the Dynamic, Fetch Query, Keyset, Population Query, and Snapshot “operators” for cursor operations.

Visual appearance in execution plans

Depending on the tool being used, the Result “operator” is displayed in a graphical execution plan as shown below:

(current versions)

Legacy SSMS

Plan Explorer

Paste The Plan


The Result “operator” is not an actual operator. It is a representation of the client that executes a query and then requests results, by calling the GetNext() method of Result’s child operator.

Depending on the code that executes on the client, it may request rows in quick succession and then immediately close the child operator to end execution, or there might be a delay in between GetNext() requests. The application logic also decides whether to continue reading until the end of data is reached, or whether to terminate the query early if no further query results are needed.

Operator properties

Since Result is not an actual operator, it does not have its own properties. However, it is used in the execution plan as a container for all properties that apply to the execution plan as a whole. The full list of these properties can be found here.

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