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What is an execution plan? When would you use it? How would you view the execution plan?

An execution plan is basically a road map that graphically or textually shows the data retrieval methods chosen by the SQL server’s query optimizer for a stored procedure or ad hoc query. Execution plans are very useful for helping a developer understand and analyze the performance characteristics of a query or stored procedure, since the plan is used to execute the query or stored procedure.

In many SQL systems, a textual execution plan can be obtained using a keyword such as EXPLAIN, and visual representations can often be obtained as well. In Microsoft SQL Server, the Query Analyzer has an option called “Show Execution Plan” (located on the Query drop down menu). If this option is turned on, it will display query execution plans in a separate window when a query is run.

TSQL Circle Live

Arun Kumar has over 8 years' extensive working experience in database query development, design, supporting many different versions of MS-SQL. He has worked to develop efficient reports, index optimization for complex queries, and has finance and operation domain experience. He has also worked with SPLUNK and enjoys training technical and non-technical colleagues.

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