About This Blog

Including my content from SQLBlog.com and some from SQLPerformance.com

Wednesday 20 March 2013

The Problem with Window Functions and Views

The Problem with Window Functions and Views


Since their introduction in SQL Server 2005, window functions like ROW_NUMBER and RANK have proven to be extremely useful in solving a wide variety of common T-SQL problems. In an attempt to generalize such solutions, database designers often look to incorporate them into views to promote code encapsulation and reuse.

Unfortunately, a limitation in the SQL Server query optimizer often means that views1 containing window functions do not perform as well as expected. This post works through an illustrative example of the problem, details the reasons, and provides a number of workarounds.

Note: The limitation described here was first fixed in SQL Server 2017 CU 30. Optimizer fixes must be enabled using trace flag 4199 or the database scoped configuration option. The fix is standard behaviour without optimizer hotfixes under compatibility level 160 (SQL Server 2022).

Friday 8 March 2013

Execution Plan Analysis: The Mystery Work Table

Execution Plan Analysis: The Mystery Work Table

I love SQL Server execution plans. It is often easy to spot the cause of a performance problem just by looking at one closely. That task is considerably easier if the plan includes run-time information (a so-called ‘actual’ execution plan), but even a compiled plan can be very useful.

Nevertheless, there are still times when the execution plan does not tell the whole story, and we need to think more deeply about query execution to really understand a problem. This post looks at one such example, based on a question I answered.