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Interleaved Execution with SQL Server

Milos Radivojevic takes us through improvements with interleaved execution in SQL Server:

As you might know, the Interleaved Execution is the member of the Intelligent Query Processing family of features. It has been introduced with SQL Server 2017 (as a part of the Adaptive Query Processing). It is designed to improve the performance of queries referencing multi-statement table-valued functions (MSTVF). Actually, it addresses currently only queries using MSTVF, but is hopefully designed for much more. The query optimizer usually has two issues with queries using MSTVF:

MSTVF is a black-box for the optimizer; it does not know what’s inside, it cannot perform cross-statement optimization (as it is a case with inline TVFs) and it assumes it is a cheap and fast operation
MSTVF has a fixed cardinality of 100 (prior to SQL Server 2014, it was 1)

Interleaved execution does not improve the first issue (MSTVF is still a black-box for the optimizer), but solves the cardinality issue.

Read on to understand how this second aspect has changed for the better.