Which brings me to today, one of the most exciting days in the history of SQL Sentry. I would like to introduce to you the new unified Plan Explorer v3! This edition includes all features of Plan Explorer PRO, plus two new and incredibly powerful features: Index Analysis and Performance Profiling.
These new features were originally going to be part of yet a 3rd edition called Plan Explorer ULTIMATE, and at an even higher price point. However, we ultimately came to our senses and realized that this would be counter to the mission, and that the only way ahead was to make all features of Plan Explorer freely available to everyone.
If you’ve used Live Query Profile in Plan Explorer (or Live Query Statistics in SSMS), then you’re familiar with seeing your query plan play live as it executes. Performance Profiling adds some special sauce to that feature. Its like a DVR for the live query profile, and also displays the performance metrics as a graph below the plan diagram. The graph gives performance metrics by time, rather than by operator. In complex plans, you might have many operators doing work at the same time, and you’ll be able to see that better by looking at the graphs. Adding a time axis to the plan is a pretty ingenious way to give a new way to look at performance.
You can then replay the “DVRed” query, and re-watch the profile without re-running the query. If you save the plan as a .pesession file, the DVR’ed query with performance profile is included in that file. You can even change the speed to watch in slow-mo or fast-forward.
If you don’t already use Plan Explorer, you’re missing out on the single best query tuning add-in.