At first I was thinking maybe it is a short cut to help. Nope, it is actually an easy way to get the estimated execution plan. The key is estimated execution plan. While in SQL Server Management Studio we have been able to easily get both the estimated or actual execution plan.
Just as a reminder, the actual execution plan requires the query to actually run. While the estimated plan will use statistics to generate the plan. Generally, if the actual and estimated are capture very close to each other, you are more than likely not going to see a difference between the tow.
Now let’s talk about the Explain button. It will return two things, the XML of the execution plan and a graphical representation of the execution plan.
There are a few differences between Azure Data Studio’s implementation of execution plans and SQL Server Management Studio’s.