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A Minor Rant About Statistics

If you've ever taken a look at the auto generated statistics that SQL builds (typically on non indexed columns when you reference the column in a where clause) you'll see that they are named _WA_Sys...blahblah. But why? A quick search didn't reveal any good answer (though perhaps I just didn't ask the right question) and in practice why do we care? We never reference the statistics by name unless we're really deep into a problem.

My reason for ranting is based on an event earlier this week. I was doing an adhoc demo to show a new statistic being created via autocreate when I referenced a non-indexed column. It worked fine, but I wanted to show the result - which meant opening up 5 or so wrong ones before I got the right one. Given that the auto created ones are usually (always?) on a single column, would it hurt to name the statistic something more useful - like the column name? So while I'm complaining, why is it that I can view the statistics (same as dbcc showstatistics) via the properties for stats on indexes, but not for 'plain' stats?

Maybe there's a good reason.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


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