Limitations In sys.dm_exec_query_plan

Brent Ozar shows a limitation in the sys.dm_exec_query_plan DMV:

The query with six joins has a cached plan that you can click on – because it’s from sys.dm_exec_query_plan, a management object that returns execution plans as XML.

The query with seven joins does not. Its cached plan is too large or complex for that DMV. Microsoft quickly realized this problem when 2005 came out, so in 2005 Service Pack 2, they introduced sys.dm_exec_text_query_plan. That function returns bigger data – but it only comes back in text format.

There are a couple of workarounds, at least, but they aren’t ideal.

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