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Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic, Boston-based SQL Server developer, shares his experiences with programming, monitoring, and performance tuning SQL Server. And the occasional battle with the query optimizer.

SQL Server 2016 “Hidden Gems” Resources

Today I was honored to present my SQL Server 2016 “Hidden Gems” talk for the GroupBy online conference.


The slide deck and demos are attached to this post.


Following are some links to help you in further exploration of the various features I discussed:



Aaron Bertrand’s performance tests:


Session Context


Time Zone Support






Session Wait Stats


Live Query Statistics

Ability to attach to other sessions' Live Queries!


Actual Query Plan Data Enhancements




Database Scoped Configuration


Increased Number of Index Keys


Increased Index Key Size





Too much stuff to list! Go google it.

Published Friday, January 13, 2017 2:30 PM by Adam Machanic


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Carnegie Johnson said:

Great presentation! I look forward to re-viewing the recording and testing in my lab.

January 13, 2017 2:54 PM

Adam Machanic said:


Thanks for attending!

January 13, 2017 3:03 PM

Sharon Rimer said:

Wow wow wow!

Great presentation!

Please come to Israel to speak at

January 18, 2017 8:54 AM

Adam Machanic said:


Thanks! Really glad you enjoyed it :-)

I've actually already been in touch with Maria Zakourdaev, and I'm actively working on it! Hope it happens, but some other pieces need to fall into place first. Fingers crossed.


January 18, 2017 9:59 AM

jeff yao said:

Hi Adam,

when I set context_info in a session, this context_info can be seen by OTHER sessions via sys.dm_exec_sessions.

But if I set Session context via sp_set_session_context, how can I check the session context info from an external session?


Jeff yao

January 22, 2017 1:18 AM

Adam Machanic said:


I don't think you can, today. Good case for a Connect item!


January 22, 2017 10:59 AM

Naveen Kumar said:

Hi Adam,

Thanks a lot for sharing your knowledge. Your session was just simply amazing and you showed us some really hidden gem with SQL 2016. Thanks again


January 31, 2017 8:12 AM

Adam Machanic said:


Really glad you enjoyed it!


January 31, 2017 9:46 AM

Ranga Narasimhan said:

Awesome...Thanks so much Adam for sharing the hidden gems in sql 2016! Much Appreciated!

February 14, 2017 4:34 PM

Vladimir Arzamazov said:

Hi, Adam!

Thank you for this interesting article. I think I will update SQL Server 2014 to SQL 2016 because curent server doesn't have a string_split function. It is a very useful function.      

May 4, 2017 6:52 AM

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About Adam Machanic

Adam Machanic is a Boston-based SQL Server developer, writer, and speaker. He focuses on large-scale data warehouse performance and development, and is author of the award-winning SQL Server monitoring stored procedure, sp_WhoIsActive. Adam has written for numerous web sites and magazines, including SQLblog, Simple Talk, Search SQL Server, SQL Server Professional, CoDe, and VSJ. He has also contributed to several books on SQL Server, including "SQL Server 2008 Internals" (Microsoft Press, 2009) and "Expert SQL Server 2005 Development" (Apress, 2007). Adam regularly speaks at conferences and training events on a variety of SQL Server topics. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, a Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), and an alumnus of the INETA North American Speakers Bureau.

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