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Microsoft® SQL Server 2012 Unleashed by Alex T. Silverstein, Chris Gallelli, Paul T. Bertucci, Ray Rankins

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Implementing Page Compression

Page compression can be implemented for a table at the time it is created or by using the ALTER TABLE command, as in the following example:

ALTER TABLE Sales.SalesOrderDetail REBUILD WITH (DATA_COMPRESSION=PAGE)

Unlike row compression, which is applied immediately on the rows, page compression isn’t applied until the page is full. The rows cannot be compressed until SQL Server can determine what encodings for prefix and dictionary substitution are going to be used to replace the actual data. When you enable page compression for a table or a partition, SQL Server examines every full page to determine the possible space savings. Any pages that are not full are not considered for compression. ...

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