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

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Plan Hinting

There is a lot of misinformation about query hints, and often the misuse of hints can cause the creation of global policies for or against the use of hints in queries. One of the goals of this chapter is to give DBAs and developers the tools they need to have a different kind of conversation about the design, implementation, and maintenance of SQL Server applications. This section explains query hints and when to use them.

Early in the chapter, I discussed some of the problems that face the engineering team for a Query Optimizer. The complexity of some of the algorithms involved in optimizing SQL queries is high enough that it is effectively impossible to explore every possible query plan for every query that can be sent to the system. ...

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