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SQL Server Execution Plans, 2nd Edition by Grant Fritchey

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Introduction

Every day, out in the various discussion boards devoted to Microsoft SQL Server, the same types of questions come up repeatedly:

  • Why is this query running slow?
  • Is SQL Server using my index?
  • Why isn't SQL Server using my index?
  • Why does this query run faster than this query?
  • And so on (and on).

The correct response is probably different in each case, but in order to arrive at the answer you have to ask the same return question every time: have you looked at the execution plan?

Execution plans show you what's going on behind the scenes in SQL Server. They can provide you with a wealth of information on how SQL Server is executing your queries, including the points below.

  • Which indexes are getting used, and where no indexes are ...

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