How Does The CHOOSE Command Affect Performance?

SQL Server, T-SQL
Questions absolutely drive my blog content and I really liked this one: how does the T-SQL CHOOSE command affect performance. On the face of it, I honestly don't think it will affect performance at all, depending on where and how you use it. However, the answer is always best supplied by testing. T-SQL CHOOSE Command The CHOOSE command was added in SQL Server 2012. It's fairly straight forward. You supply an array and a numbered index for that array and CHOOSE will pull the matching value for that index. It works like this. We'll start with a simple proc and execute it: CREATE OR ALTER PROC dbo.CarrierAndFlag ( @SalesOrderID INT, @Flag INT ) AS BEGIN SELECT sod.CarrierTrackingNumber, CHOOSE(@Flag, 'A', 'B', 'C') AS Flag FROM Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod WHERE sod.SalesOrderID =…
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The Very Best of Extended Events

SQL Server
Over the next couple of months, I'll be putting on a number of different sessions teaching about the tools supplied by Microsoft, for free, that can help you when tuning your queries. One of the most important of these tools is Extended Events. A couple of my sessions in the Redgate Community Circle livestream "Built-in Tools Make Query Performance Tuning Easier" will be on Extended Events. My livestreaming starts tomorrow, April 21, at 2pm Eastern. It will be recorded and made available for free. Follow the link for all the details, or, just subscribe to Redgate's YouTube account. I'm also going to be hosting a fundamentals introduction to Extended Events, "The Easy Way to Extended Events." Heck, I'm even going to be hosting a session showing how to use Extended…
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Extended Events: Queries and Waits

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Wouldn't it be great to be able to put together queries and waits at the same time? You all capture query metrics using some method. Most of us query sys.dm_os_wait_stats or sys.dm_db_wait_stats. Combining them is hard. You could query the wait stats. Store the results in a table variable. Run the query in question. Then query the wait stats again into a different table variable. Join the two table variables together to find the differences. Ta-da, you have query waits. Well. Probably. If you're the only one running queries on the system. Also, you're not seeing system waits or other noise caused by activity on the system. Or, we could put Extended Events to work. Queries and Waits Just like Profiler/Trace, you can capture stored procedures, batches, and individual statements…
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Extended Events: Live Data Explorer, Grouping

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Of all the things that Extended Events does, I've found the ability to quickly and easily gather a little bit of data and then use the Data Explorer window Live Data grouping to aggregate it to be one of the greatest. Sure, if we're talking about using Extended Events on a busy production server, this method probably isn't going to work well. There, you are going to be better off querying the XML (I know, I know, but I have ways to help there too). But in development, when doing testing and query tuning, the Live Data window is a gift of the gods on par with fire or beer (it's not as good as whiskey). Live Data Grouping Let's imagine a scenario like this. You're working on some query…
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Extended Events: Live Data Explorer, Getting Started

Extended Events: Live Data Explorer, Getting Started

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
One reason a lot of people don't like Extended Events is because the output is in XML. Let's face it, XML is a pain in the bottom. However, there are a bunch of ways around dealing with the XML data. The first, and easiest, is to ignore it completely and use the Live Data window built into SQL Server Management Studio. I've written about the Live Data window before, and I've been using it throughout this series of posts on Extended Events. There's a lot more to this tool than is immediately apparent. Today, we're going to explore the basics around this tool Live Data There are two easy ways to get the Live Data window open. The first, for any Extended Event session that's running, you can right click…
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Extended Events: system_health and a Long Running Query

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Wouldn't it be great to just quickly and easily take a look at your system to see if you had any queries that ran for a long time, but, without actually doing any work to capture query metrics? Oh, yeah, I can do that right now, and so can you. All we need is something that is built into every single server you currently have under management (sorry, not Azure SQL Database) that is SQL Server 2008 or better: system_health system_health Extended Event Session The system_health Extended Events session is very well documented by Microsoft here. I've talked about it before, in relation to Azure SQL Database, and, on the same topic we're going over today, long running queries and waits (cause if you have a long running query, you…
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A Rose By Any Other Name

SQL Server
There is only one kind of execution plan within SQL Server. I've said this several times on this blog. Now, I'd like you to go and read this excellent blog post by Hugo Kornelis. Hugo, Erin Stellato and I are working with Microsoft to hopefully, at long last, make this issue clear. In the grand scheme of life, like Shakespeare's rose, the name we use for execution plans doesn't really matter. However, the fact is, language really does matter. Clarity is so important in communications, of any kind. When we try to teach execution plans, the confusion caused by the old naming standards is one of the first things we have to spend time getting people to un-learn. I fully support this newly proposed naming standard: Execution PlanExecution Plan Plus…
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Query Store, Plan Forcing, and DROP/CREATE

SQL Server, T-SQL
I absolutely love Query Store and the ability it provides to force a plan is amazing. However, there are a lot of little gotchas in this functionality. I just recently found one that has quite a far reaching effect. Let's talk about what happens when you DROP and then CREATE a stored procedure. Query Store and Plan Forcing Let's quickly recap how Query Store works and how Plan Forcing works. First, Query Store is driven by query, not by procedure, not by batch, but by query. Second, plan forcing is also by query. However, there are queries and there are queries. Let's take this as an example: CREATE PROC dbo.AddressByCity @City NVARCHAR(30) AS BEGIN SELECT a.AddressID, a.AddressLine1, a.AddressLine2, a.City, sp.Name AS StateProvinceName, a.PostalCode FROM Person.Address AS a JOIN Person.StateProvince AS…
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Extended Events: Database Auditing

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Extended Events can do things that simply are not possible with Profiler and another example comes from the stack of audit events that exist only in Extended Events. One of these is a set of expanded events for database auditing. Comparing the list of things exposed through Extended Events to those exposed through Trace/Profiler isn't entirely fair. All new functionality is only in Extended Events since Trace hasn't been updated since 2008. However, these events that you can use to audit your database, aren't new functionality, they're just new events for watching old functionality. The addition of new events is just one more reason why moving to use Extended Events is a must. Auditing Databases In this instance, when I say audit the database, what I mean is keep an…
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Extended Events: Histogram Output

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
The single most important thing to remember about Extended Events is that this functionality is not simply a replacement for Profiler/Trace, but a whole new tool with new functionality. My first example for functionality that you simply cannot get in Profiler/Trace is the ability to output to a Histogram. Profiler/Trace can output to a table or to a file. Extended Events can have a target that is a file, same as Profiler. However, you can also have a target: etw_classic_sync_targetevent_counterhistogrampair_matchingring_buffer Read about each of the types in the Microsoft documentation here. I'm going to focus for the moment on the histogram target because it lets you do some fun stuff and easily collect data that you simply can't collect using Profiler/Trace without hopping through a bunch of flaming hoops. Setting…
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