When UNION ALL Can Beat OR

Bert Wagner compares a couple methods for writing a query:

Suddenly those key-lookups become too expensive for SQL Server and the query optimizer thinks it’ll be faster to just scan the entire clustered index.

In general this makes sense; SQL Server tries to pick plans that are good enough in most scenarios, and in general I think it chooses wisely.

However, sometimes SQL Server doesn’t pick great plans. Sometimes the plans it picks are downright terrible.

If that particular topic is interesting, I’ve a blog post from a few years back on a similar vein.

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Optimizer Imperfections With Complex Filters

Erik Darling shows a couple examples of how the optimizer will sometimes pick a superior plan when dealing with complicated filters but not always: Sometimes, the optimizer can take a query with a complex where clause, and turn it into two queries. This only happens up to a certain point in complexity, and only if […]

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Hiding Work: The Nested Loop Operator

Erik Darling explains that the nested loop operator is like a duck: there’s more going on beneath the surface than it lets on: I’m going to talk about my favorite example, because it can cause a lot of confusion, and can hide a lot of the work it’s doing behind what appears to be a […]

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