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Encryption and the Performance DMOs

Ever wonder what you can see in the performance oriented DMOs when stored procedures were encrypted? Me neither. But, I did get that question during my DMO presentation at the PASS Summit. I did not have an answer. I did get an answer from Johan Biknens (twitter) from the audience, which I repeated without entirely knowing what I was saying. I decided that I ought to actually know the answer to that question, so here’s a little experiment.

I’m going to create a simple stored procedure:

CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.GetSalesDetails (@SalesOrderId INT)
SELECT soh.AccountNumber,
FROM Sales.SalesOrderHeader AS soh
JOIN Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod
ON soh.SalesOrderID = sod.SalesOrderID
WHERE soh.SalesOrderID = @SalesOrderID

When I create this procedure and run it, you can see the general performance of the query being run by pulling data from the sys.dm_exec_procedure_stats DMO like this:

SELECT deps.type_desc,
dest.encrypted AS EncryptedText,
deqp.encrypted AS EncryptedPlan
FROM sys.dm_exec_procedure_stats AS deps
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_sql_text(deps.sql_handle) AS dest
CROSS APPLY sys.dm_exec_query_plan(deps.plan_handle) as deqp
WHERE dest.text LIKE 'CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.GetSalesDetails%'

Now, to modify the procedure so that it’s encrypted I’m going to recreate it with a slight modifcation:

CREATE PROCEDURE dbo.GetSalesDetails (@SalesOrderId INT)

Now, if I execute the procedure and rerun the select statement against the DMO, I won’t get any data. Why? Because of the WHERE clause. The text of the procedure is no longer available in the sys.dm_exec_procedures_stats DMO. Encryption has worked. I can’t see the SQL and I can’t see the execution plan. I will however, see values in the EncryptedText and EncryptePlan columns, showing that despite the encryption, rows for the procedure in question do exist in the appropriate DMOs.

There’s the answer to the question.

The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).


Posted by Jason Brimhall on 5 January 2011

Intriguing.  Thanks for posting that Grant.  Now I'm off to try it as well.

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