Query Store as an Upgrade Tool

SQL Server, Tools
There are a lot of uses for Query Store, but one of the most interesting is as an upgrade tool. We all know that upgrades in SQL Server can be more than a little bit nerve wracking. No matter how much you tested stuff in lower environments, deploying an update to production might result in performance issues as your code hits a regression. This is even more true when upgrading from versions of SQL Server prior to 2014 to anything 2014 and above. That's because of the new cardinality estimation engine introduced in 2014. Most queries won't notice it. Some queries will benefit from the better estimates. A few, problematic, queries will suffer. This is where Query Store can be used as an upgrade tool. The Steps We're going to…
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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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Query Store, Plan Forcing and Table Variables

SQL Server, T-SQL
This weekend I was in Stockholm in Sweden, talking Query Store and plan forcing with Steinar Anderson, when he mentioned the problems he had while forcing plans that had table variables in them. Don't panic. Of course you can force a plan with a table variable, most of the time. Steinar had a fairly focused problem. Before I go on to explain the issue, let me be really clear, Steinar figured out the issue all on his own. When he outlined the problem, I saw immediately what his conclusion was going to be. What's spurring this blog post is that Steinar said he'd searched on the internet and no one had talked about the issue yet. So, let's talk about it. Plan Forcing With Table Variables First up, let's show…
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Can You Force A Parallel Plan in Query Store?

SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017
I love the questions I get when presenting: Can You Force a Parallel Plan in Query Store. I haven't a clue. The trick I think is going to be in setting up the test. Let's try it out. Reliably Getting a Parallel Plan Because this is for testing, rather than try to build some crazy query that may or may not go parallel, I've decided to cheat. I'll take advantage of a little functionality that ensures I see a parallel plan when I want to. Here's my code: DBCC TRACEON(8649); GO SELECT soh.OrderDate, soh.ShipDate, sod.OrderQty FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader AS soh JOIN Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod ON sod.SalesOrderID = soh.SalesOrderID WHERE soh.SalesOrderID = 43705; GO DBCC TRACEOFF(8649); Traceflag 8649 will force all plans to go parallel by effectively making the Cost Threshold for…
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Forcing a Plan That Has a Plan Guide

SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2017, T-SQL
The question that came up during a recent class I was teaching was: What if you have a plan guide to get the plan you want, but then decide, instead of using the plan guide, you'll just force the plan? Ummmm…. No idea. Let's test it. First, Create a Plan Guide I have a couple of queries I use to teach about how statistics affects plan choice, so we'll use that here. I'm going to also define and create a plan guide that makes this plan use a small row count for all queries against it: CREATE OR ALTER PROC dbo.AddressByCity @City NVARCHAR(30) AS SELECT a.AddressID, a.AddressLine1, a.AddressLine2, a.City, sp.Name AS StateProvinceName, a.PostalCode FROM Person.Address AS a JOIN Person.StateProvince AS sp ON a.StateProvinceID = sp.StateProvinceID WHERE a.City = @City; GO…
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Query Store, Force Plan and Dropped Objects

Azure, SQL Server 2016
I love the Query Store. Seriously. It’s a huge leap forward in the capabilities of Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in support of performance monitoring and query optimization. One of my favorite aspects of the Query Store is the ability to force plans. Frankly though, it’s also the scariest part of the Query Store. I do believe that plan forcing will be one of the most ill-used functions in SQL Server since the multi-statement table-valued user-defined function (don’t get me started). However, unlike the UDF, this ill-use will be because of poor understanding on the part of the user, not a fundamental design issue. No, plan forcing and the Query Store are very well constructed. Let me give you an example of just how well constructed they are. Let’s…
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Query Store and Recompile

Azure, SQL Server 2016, T-SQL
One of the many advantages of SQL Cruise is the ability to have enough time during a presentation to be able to answer questions from the people there in great detail. One question came up while I was showing the new functionality of Query Store (available soon in SQL Server 2016, available right now in Azure SQL Database). What happens to plan forcing when you have OPTION RECOMPILE on a query? Great question. I have a favorite procedure I use to illustrate the functionality of parameter sniffing: ALTER PROC dbo.AddressByCity @City NVARCHAR(30) AS SELECT a.AddressID, a.AddressLine1, a.AddressLine2, a.City, sp.Name AS StateProvinceName, a.PostalCode FROM Person.Address AS a JOIN Person.StateProvince AS sp ON a.StateProvinceID = sp.StateProvinceID WHERE a.City = @City; If this procedure is called with the value of 'Mentor' you get…
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