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Implementing Snapshot or Read Committed Snapshot Isolation in SQL Server: A Guide

How to change isolation levels without losing your marbles. A client said the coolest thing to me the other day. He said, “We talked before about why we would want to start using optimistic locking in our code. How do we get there?” If you’re not a SQL Server geek, that comment probably doesn’t even…
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Introducing the SQL Server Plan Cache (and a Better sp_Blitz®)

When you send your beautifully hand-crafted organic T-SQL statement to SQL Server, the database engine takes a moment to appreciate the poetry of your work.  Before it turns your request into results, it has to build an execution plan.  SQL Server considers: Which tables it needs to join together What subqueries it needs to execute…
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The Art of the Execution Plan

There’s beauty everywhere – even in SQL Server.  I was just staring at this plan when I was struck by its beauty: Stored Procedure Part 1 Oh, sure, it’s ugly, and I recoiled in horror at first, but when you get over that reaction, there’s an amazing amount of stuff there.  Someone – probably many…
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Query Execution Plan

Sargability: Why %string% Is Slow

People love to search. Google has us addicted to fast, easy search functions.  Users expect every application to have a built-in blazing-fast search functionality.  To pull that off, developers build search queries that let users enter a string, and we ask SQL Server to find matches.  For example, say our users need to find some…
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Why Use Schemas?

The ever-insightful Buck Woody (Blog – @BuckWoody) wrote a post telling you to use database schemas.  He writes: “But I still see a lot of applications, developed by shops I know as well as vendors, that don’t make use of a Schema. Everything is piled under dbo…. But if you’ll use them properly you can…
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Simon Sabin’s talk on query performance

At #SQLbits, Simon Sabin (Twitter) talked about car crash queries: queries that suddenly have bad performance out of nowhere, yet if you copy/paste them into SQL Server Management Studio, they run quickly.  The culprit is often parameter sniffing: the engine looks at the query and builds a plan, but if the parameters in the WHERE…
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