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SQL Server Execution Plans

Issue 3 Number 8 August 2011

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A Practical Methodology for Query Tuning, Part 3

Understanding Graphical Execution Plans

I can’t put it off any longer. To further our discussion of practical optimization techniques, we need to discuss the graphical query plan. It is absolutely essential that you understand how to read and interpret query plans if you want to optimize SQL queries.

We do not use graphics in this newsletter because we do not want to clutter up your inbox with a huge email every month. Normally, we can get away with no graphics, but not this month. It is impossible to discuss graphical execution plans without using a lot of graphics.

So, in lieu of sending you a 50 megabyte email, I will give you a link to a very good FREE ebook by Grant Fritchey on the subject of execution plans. It is full of big, fat graphics. You can use this ebook to come up to speed on graphical query plans.

It is a relatively long book (183 pages) in comparison to our newsletters. If you don’t have time to read it all, at least give it a start. You will learn quite a bit in the first quarter of the book. In subsequent newsletter articles referencing query plans, I will assume that readers have a basic grasp of the subject. Then we can get down to discussing practical methods for using the wealth of information in the graphical query plan to optimize SQL queries.

Download the Free ebook HERE.

You could also buy the print copy on this link if you prefer, but it will cost about twenty dollars. The PDF download is free.

I find that the PDF can be read very easily on my laptop. However when I had Amazon convert it for my Kindle, the graphics were too small to read clearly.

I'm not really cheating, am I?

Although I do appreciate not having to write a long article this month, that was not my prime motive in substituting Grant Fritchey's ebook. I have been wrestling with the problem of presenting this essential material in the format of our monthly newsletter. I finally decided it was impossible. The ebook is a far better solution than I could produce in this newsletter.

As aways, if you have questions or comments call me at 503.342.3422 ext 1 or EMAIL ME.

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