No, I don’t mean the use of sp_updatestats is not smart. It’s a fine, quick mechanism for getting statistics updated in your system. But the procedure itself is not smart. I keep seeing stuff like “sp_updatestats knows which statistics need to be updated” and similar statements.


Not true.

Wanna know how I know? It’s tricky. Ready? I looked at the query. It’s there, in full, at the bottom of the article (2014 CTP2 version, just in case yours is slightly different, like, for example, no Hekaton logic). Let’s focus on just this bit:

if ((@ind_rowmodctr <> 0) or ((@is_ver_current is not null) and (@is_ver_current = 0)))

The most interesting part is right at the front, @ind_rowmodctr <> 0. That value is loaded with the cursor and comes from sys.sysindexes and the rowmodctr column there. In short, we can know that the “smart” aspect of sp_updatestats is that it assumes if there are any modifications, then updating statistics is good to go. We can argue for hours over how exactly you determine whether or not statistics are sufficiently out of date to warrant an update, but I’d be willing to bet that the sophisticated answers are not going to include just finding everything that’s been touched.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not implying, suggesting or stating that sp_updatestats shouldn’t be used. It should. It’s fine. Just be very clear about what it does and how it does it.


Just a reminder, I’m putting on an all day seminar on query tuning in Louisville on June 20th, 2014. Seats are going fast, so please sign up early.


USE [master]
/****** Object:  StoredProcedure [sys].[sp_updatestats]    Script Date: 3/6/2014 8:09:58 PM ******/

ALTER procedure [sys].[sp_updatestats]
	@resample char(8)='NO'

	declare @dbsid varbinary(85)

	select @dbsid = owner_sid
		from sys.databases
		where name = db_name()

	-- Check the user sysadmin
	if not is_srvrolemember('sysadmin') = 1 and suser_sid() <> @dbsid
		return (1)
	-- cannot execute against R/O databases  
	if DATABASEPROPERTYEX(db_name(), 'Updateability')=N'READ_ONLY'
		return (1)

	if upper(@resample)<>'RESAMPLE' and upper(@resample)<>'NO'
		raiserror(14138, -1, -1, @resample)
		return (1)

	-- required so it can update stats on ICC/IVs
	set ansi_warnings on
	set ansi_padding on
	set arithabort on
	set concat_null_yields_null on
	set numeric_roundabort off

	declare @exec_stmt nvarchar(4000)		-- "UPDATE STATISTICS [sysname].[sysname] [sysname] WITH RESAMPLE NORECOMPUTE"
	declare @exec_stmt_head nvarchar(4000)	-- "UPDATE STATISTICS [sysname].[sysname] "
	declare @options nvarchar(100)			-- "RESAMPLE NORECOMPUTE"

	declare @index_names cursor

	declare @ind_name sysname
	declare @ind_id int
	declare @ind_rowmodctr int
	declare @updated_count int
	declare @skipped_count int

	declare @sch_id int
	declare @schema_name sysname
	declare @table_name sysname
	declare @table_id int
	declare @table_type char(2)
	declare @schema_table_name nvarchar(640) -- assuming sysname is 128 chars, 5x that, so it's > 128*4+4

	declare @compatlvl tinyint

	-- Note that we looked up from sys.objects$ instead sys.objects since some internal tables are not visible in sys.objects
	declare ms_crs_tnames cursor local fast_forward read_only for
		select name, object_id, schema_id, type from sys.objects$ o
		where o.type = 'U' or o.type = 'IT'
	open ms_crs_tnames
	fetch next from ms_crs_tnames into @table_name, @table_id, @sch_id, @table_type

	-- determine compatibility level
	select @compatlvl = cmptlevel from sys.sysdatabases where name = db_name()

	while (@@fetch_status <> -1) -- fetch successful
		-- generate fully qualified quoted name
		select @schema_name = schema_name(@sch_id)
		select @schema_table_name = quotename(@schema_name, '[') +'.'+ quotename(rtrim(@table_name), '[')

		-- check for table with disabled clustered index
		if (1 = isnull((select is_disabled from sys.indexes where object_id = @table_id and index_id = 1), 0))
			-- raiserror('Table ''%s'': cannot perform the operation on the table because its clustered index is disabled', -1, -1, @tablename)
			raiserror(15654, -1, -1, @schema_table_name)
			-- filter out local temp tables
			if ((@@fetch_status <> -2) and (substring(@table_name, 1, 1) <> '#'))
				-- reset counters for this table
				select @updated_count = 0
				select @skipped_count = 0

				-- print status message
				--raiserror('Updating %s', -1, -1, @schema_table_name)
				raiserror(15650, -1, -1, @schema_table_name)

				-- initial statement preparation: UPDATE STATISTICS [schema].[name]
				select @exec_stmt_head = 'UPDATE STATISTICS ' + @schema_table_name + ' '

				-- using another cursor to iterate through
				-- indices and stats (user and auto-created)
				-- Hekaton indexes do not appear in sys.sysindexes so we need to use sys.stats instead
				-- Hekaton indexes do not support rowmodctr so we just return 1 which will force update stats
				-- Note that OBJECTPROPERTY returns NULL on type="IT" tables, thus we only call it on type='U' tables
				if ((@table_type = 'U') and (1 = OBJECTPROPERTY(@table_id, 'TableIsMemoryOptimized')))	-- Hekaton tables
					set @index_names = cursor local fast_forward read_only for
						select name, stats_id, 1 as rowmodctr
						from sys.stats
						where object_id = @table_id and indexproperty(object_id, name, 'ishypothetical') = 0 
						order by stats_id
					set @index_names = cursor local fast_forward read_only for
						select name, indid, rowmodctr from sys.sysindexes
						where id = @table_id and indid > 0 and indexproperty(id, name, 'ishypothetical') = 0 
						and indexproperty(id, name, 'iscolumnstore') = 0
						order by indid

				open @index_names
				fetch @index_names into @ind_name, @ind_id, @ind_rowmodctr

				-- if there are no stats, skip update
				if @@fetch_status < 0
					--raiserror('    %d indexes/statistics have been updated, %d did not require update.', -1, -1, @updated_count, @skipped_count)
					raiserror(15651, -1, -1, @updated_count, @skipped_count)
					while @@fetch_status >= 0
						-- create quoted index name
						declare @ind_name_quoted nvarchar(258)
						select @ind_name_quoted = quotename(@ind_name, '[')

						-- reset options
						select @options = ''

						declare @is_ver_current bit
						select @is_ver_current = stats_ver_current(@table_id, @ind_id)

						-- note that <> 0 should work against old and new rowmodctr logic (when it is always > 0)
						-- also, force a refresh if the stats blob version is not current
						if ((@ind_rowmodctr <> 0) or ((@is_ver_current is not null) and (@is_ver_current = 0)))
							select @exec_stmt = @exec_stmt_head + @ind_name_quoted

							-- Add FULLSCAN for hekaton tables
							-- Note that OBJECTPROPERTY returns NULL on type="IT" tables, thus we only call it on type='U' tables
							if ((@table_type = 'U') and (1 = OBJECTPROPERTY(@table_id, 'TableIsMemoryOptimized')))	-- Hekaton tables
								select @options = 'FULLSCAN'

							-- add resample if needed
							else if (upper(@resample)='RESAMPLE')
								select @options = 'RESAMPLE '

							if (@compatlvl >= 90)
								-- put norecompute if local properties are set to AUTOSTATS = OFF
								-- note that ind name is unique within the object
								if ((select no_recompute from sys.stats where object_id = @table_id and name = @ind_name) = 1)
									if (len(@options) > 0) select @options = @options + ', NORECOMPUTE'
									else select @options = 'NORECOMPUTE'

							if (len(@options) > 0)
								select @exec_stmt = @exec_stmt + ' WITH ' + @options

							--print @exec_stmt
							exec (@exec_stmt)
							--raiserror('    %s has been updated...', -1, -1, @ind_name_quoted)
							raiserror(15652, -1, -1, @ind_name_quoted)
							select @updated_count = @updated_count + 1
							--raiserror('    %s, update is not necessary...', -1, -1, @ind_name_quoted)
							raiserror(15653, -1, -1, @ind_name_quoted)
							select @skipped_count = @skipped_count + 1
						fetch @index_names into @ind_name, @ind_id, @ind_rowmodctr
					--raiserror('    %d index(es)/statistic(s) have been updated, %d did not require update/disabled.', -1, -1, @updated_count, @skipped_count)
					raiserror(15651, -1, -1, @updated_count, @skipped_count)
				deallocate @index_names
		print ' '
		fetch next from ms_crs_tnames into @table_name, @table_id, @sch_id, @table_type
	deallocate ms_crs_tnames
	return(0) -- sp_updatestats

4 thoughts on “sp_updatestats Is Not Smart

  1. Create post! I’d like to add that if you run this proc it will read the default sample size (about 1%) from every index that’s been modified since the last stats update. That’s a lot of physical reads and a big hit to PLE, but will give the query optimizer more accurate information to base execution plans off of. Just something to keep in mind for those new to stats.

    I agree completely with Grant. It should be used. Use it until this becomes a problem, and keep this in mind if you have to write a custom one to stay within your maintenance window.

  2. Microsoft wrote this line of code:
    or (
    (@is_ver_current is not null) and (@is_ver_current = 0)

    The looks the guy does not know null is not 0

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