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Failed Abstract: Understanding Execution Plans Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, January 24, 2011 6:28 PM


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I submitted this to PASS back when they didn't offer criticism of rejected abstracts, so I'm curious what might be wrong with it.

Understanding Execution Plans

Did you ever wonder if there was a way to see what happens inside SQL Server when you submit a query? Did you want to know if your indexes are getting used? Have you been curious about how SQL Server does a join between two tables? Did you just need to understand why your query is running so slow? The answers to all these questions, and more, are contained within SQL Server execution plans. My goal will be to show you how to generate execution plans and how to read them after they’re generated. You’ll learn the difference between an estimated and an actual execution plan and when to use each one. You’ll discover how to read a graphical execution plan and follow your data through the plan as it gets joined to other tables or filtered by WHERE clauses or aggregate functions. After watching this session, you’ll understand how to get detailed information out of execution plans, what operators to watch for, how to tell if the right operator is being used for your data, and all the bits and pieces of different kinds of data that are immediately available inside SQL Server execution plans.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1052801
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:30 AM


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To be brutally honest, the abstract looks too plain. There is nothing that catches the eye and imagination. You are stating the facts, True. But looks too plain.
Maybe you could use sentences like... "Slow and steady does not always win the race" or "Why is my query slow as tortoise? How can you dissect an execution plan? " or catchy phrases like that.


-Roy
Post #1053080
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:47 AM


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Brutally honest is good.

So, spice it up a bit. OK. I can do that. More from others?


----------------------------------------------------
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1053098
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:48 AM


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Where's my flipping brain...

Thank you Roy. Feedback is a gift. I appreciate it.


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"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1053102
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 7:50 AM


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A few comments that stood out.

First, the power of threes. We seem wired to get caught up in threes, but you have 4 questions at the start. I'd remove one of them.

I didn't like the "...answers to these, and more..." since the "more" makes me think that you'll talk about stuff I might not be interested in.

I also don't like the "my goal". Doesn't seem forceful or confident enough.


My rewrite:

Did you ever wonder what happens inside SQL Server when you submit a query? Did you want to know if your indexes are getting used? Did you just need to understand why your query is running so slow? The answers to all these questions are contained within SQL Server execution plans. You will learn how to generate execution plans and then read them to understand what is happening inside SQL Server. You’ll learn the difference between an estimated and an actual execution plan and when to use each one. I will explain how to read a graphical execution plan and follow your data through the plan as it gets joined to other tables, filtered by WHERE clauses, or compiled in aggregate functions. After watching this session, you’ll understand how to get detailed information out of execution plans, what operators to watch for, and which ones will help your queries run faster.







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Post #1053159
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:50 AM


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Oooh, that sounds good. When are you putting that session on?

Seriously, thanks. That makes sense. I'll work that in with the edits I'm going to use from Roy's feedback.


----------------------------------------------------
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1053240
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 8:58 AM


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It sounds mildly interesting, not critical/urgent/important. More like a point of curiousity than a tool no DBA can survive without.

Understanding Execution Plans

Every DBA runs into this. You've got a query that's not doing what you want, or not doing it fast enough. What's going on inside it? Are the indexes being used? How are the tables being joined? WHY IS IT SO SLOW!?! The answers to all of these questions and more are found within SQL Server execution plans, which are a complete pain to read if you aren't familiar with them. This presentation will clarify when and how to read an execution plan. Most importantly, how to trace down query problems in them, and the detailed information needed to solve those problems.


The abstract also sounds like it may be covering too much ground. Execution plans is a big subject. Books could be written on them . Cut down the abstract to what you'll actually cover in the presentation, which won't be encyclopedic or comprehensive. Is it an introduction? Intermediate? Advanced? How focused vs general?


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Post #1053255
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011 10:14 AM


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Good points Gus. This is meant to be my introductory session on execution plans (it's going, more or less intact, into my SQL Rally all day session). Thanks. Great feedback.

----------------------------------------------------
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..." Theodore Roosevelt
The Scary DBA
Author of: SQL Server 2012 Query Performance Tuning
SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled
and
SQL Server Execution Plans

Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software
Post #1053324
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