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Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Internals by Paul Randal Kalen Delaney Kimberly Tripp, and Conor Cunningham

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Statistics, Cardinality Estimation, and Costing

The Query Optimizer uses a model with estimated costs of each operator to determine which plan to choose. The costs are based on statistical information used to estimate the number of rows processed in each operator. By default, statistics are generated automatically during the optimization process to help generate these cardinality estimates. The Query Optimizer also determines which columns need statistics on each table.

Once a set of columns is identified as needing statistics, the Query Optimizer attempts to find a preexisting statistics object for that column. If it doesn’t find one, the system samples the table data to create a new statistics object. If one already existed, it is examined to ...

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