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Understanding the Eager Index Spool

Paul White gives us a lesson on eager spools:

Index spools do not tell the optimizer they support output ordered by the spool’s index keys. If sorted output from the spool is required, you may see an unnecessary Sort operator. Eager index spools should often be replaced by a permanent index anyway, so this is a minor concern much of the time.

There are five optimizer rules that can generate an Eager Index Spool option (known internally as an index on-the-fly). We will look at three of these in detail to understand where eager index spools come from.

Read on for a detailed discussion of eager spools.