Expert? Ha!

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, TSQL
How do you define an expert? My personal definition: An expert is the person that is a chapter ahead of you in the book. Why am I talking about this? Just that I’m feeling more stupid than usual lately. In the last two weeks I’ve had people bring up through various discussions, documents, what have you, four different SQL Server trace flags that will affect how SQL Server builds execution plans and I’ve never heard of any of them before. I’ve never, ever, thought of myself as an expert in execution plans, despite having written a book about them. I just thought I had a good grasp on how they worked and I was willing to share. I didn’t know everything and never pretended to, but I thought I knew…
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Make the Optimizer Work Harder

SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, SQLServerPedia Syndication
One of my favorite indicators for whether or not you have a good execution plan is when you see the “Reason for Early Termination” property in the TSQL operator like this: The optimizer considered this particular plan “Good Enough.” which is what you want to see. When you see “Timeout” as the reason, that’s an indication that the plan you have may be sub-optimal. The question is, can you make the optimizer spend more time on your queries. Well, actually, the question is, should you make the optimizer spend more time on queries. During my session on SQL Cruise I answered the original phrasing of that question, no. As usual when I present in front of people smarter than I am, I was wrong. Brent Ozar (blog|twitter) pointed out that…
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