Development

How to Think Like the Engine: When a Seek Isn’t

In our last episode, I introduced the concept of scan predicates: execution plan operations that weren’t able to seek directly to the rows they needed. Let’s take another query: Transact-SQL DropIndexes; GO CREATE INDEX IX_LastAccessDate_Id_DisplayName_Age ON dbo.Users(LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, Age); GO SELECT Id FROM dbo.Users WHERE LastAccessDate > '1800/01/01' AND DisplayName = N'Brent Ozar'; GO…
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How to Think Like the Engine: Index Column Order Matters a LOT.

We’ve been working with the clustered index of the Users table, which is on the Identity column – starts at 1 and goes up to a bajillion: And in a recent episode, we added a wider nonclustered index on LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, and Age: Transact-SQL CREATE INDEX IX_LastAccessDate_Id_DisplayName_Age ON dbo.Users(LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, Age); GO 123…
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How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine: When Statistics Don’t Help

In our last episode, we saw how SQL Server estimates row count using statistics. Let’s write two slightly different versions of our query – this time, only looking for a single day’s worth of users – and see how its estimations go: Transact-SQL SELECT LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, Age FROM dbo.Users WHERE LastAccessDate BETWEEN '2018-08-27' AND…
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How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine: What’s the Tipping Point?

In our last episode, I’d expanded our query to include DisplayName and Age – two columns that weren’t in our nonclustered index: Transact-SQL SELECT LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, Age FROM dbo.Users WHERE LastAccessDate > '2018-09-02 04:00' ORDER BY LastAccessDate; 1234 SELECT LastAccessDate, Id, DisplayName, Age  FROM dbo.Users  WHERE LastAccessDate > '2018-09-02 04:00'  ORDER BY LastAccessDate; So as a result,…
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What’s Better, CTEs or Temp Tables?

I get this question a lot, so let’s set up an example with the Stack Overflow database. My query’s goal is to: Find the top 5 Locations List the users who live in those top 5 Locations, alphabetized by their DisplayName There are a LOT of ways I could write this query, but for the…
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