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  • Execution Plan Analysis: The Mystery Work Table

    I love SQL Server execution plans. It is often easy to spot the cause of a performance problem just by looking at one. The task is considerably easier if the plan includes run-time information (a so-called ‘actual’ execution plan), but even a compiled plan can be very useful. Nevertheless, there are still times where the execution plan does not ...
    Posted to Paul White: Page Free Space (Weblog) by Paul White on March 7, 2013
  • Optimizing T-SQL queries that change data

    Most tuning efforts for data-changing operations concentrate on the SELECT side of the query plan. Sometimes people will also look at important storage engine considerations like locking and transaction log throughput that can have dramatic effects. As a consequence, a number of common practices have emerged, such as avoiding large numbers of ...
    Posted to Paul White: Page Free Space (Weblog) by Paul White on January 25, 2013
  • MERGE Bug with Filtered Indexes

    A MERGE statement can fail, and incorrectly report a unique key violation when: The target table uses a unique filtered index; and No key column of the filtered index is updated; and A column from the filtering condition is updated; and Transient key violations are possible Example Tables Say we have ...
    Posted to Paul White: Page Free Space (Weblog) by Paul White on December 9, 2012
  • Forcing a Parallel Query Execution Plan

    This post is for SQL Server developers who have experienced the special kind of frustration, which only comes from spending hours trying to convince the query optimizer to generate a parallel execution plan.  This situation often occurs when making an apparently innocuous change to the text of a moderately complex query; a change which ...
    Posted to Paul White: Page Free Space (Weblog) by Paul White on December 22, 2011
  • How to Find the Statistics Used to Compile an Execution Plan

    In this post, I show you how to determine exactly which statistics objects were used by the query optimizer to produce an execution plan. Trace Flags We will need three undocumented trace flags.  The first one (3604) is well-known – it redirects trace output to the client so it appears in the SSMS messages tab. The second trace flag is ...
    Posted to Paul White: Page Free Space (Weblog) by Paul White on September 20, 2011
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