SQL (the language) is not a third-generation language, where the developer tells the computer every step it needs to take. It is a declarative language that specifies the required results. SQL Server itself will figure out what steps it takes to get to those results. Most of the time, that works very well.
But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes a query takes too much time. You need to find out why, so you can fix it. That’s where the execution plan comes in. In the execution plan, SQL Server exposes exactly which steps it took for your query, so you can see why it’s slow.
However, execution plans can be daunting to the uninitiated. Especially for complex queries. Where do you even start?
In this session, you will learn how to obtain execution plans and how to start reading and understanding them.
Hugo Kornelis is an established SQL Server community expert who spends a lot of time at various conferences. He is also a blogger, technical editor of a variety of books, and Pluralsight author. He was awarded SQL Server MVP and Data Platform MVP 12 times (2006 – 2016 / 2019 – now).
When not working for the community, he is busy at his day job: a freelance database developer/consultant.
Hugo has over 20 years of SQL Server experience in various roles. He has a strong database design background but also loves to write and tune complex queries.