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The Pain of SELECT *

Grant Fritchey strongly recommends against SELECT *:

Quite a few years ago, I wrote a post about SELECT * and performance. That post had a bit of a click-bait title (freely admitted). I wrote the post because there was a really bad checklist of performance tips making the rounds (pretty sure it’s still making the rounds). The checklist recommended a whole bunch of silly stuff. One silly thing it recommended was to simply substitute ALL columns (let me emphasize that again, name each and every column) instead of SELECT * because “it was faster”.

My post, linked above, showed that this statement was nonsense. Let’s be clear, I’m not a fan of SELECT *. Yes, it has some legitimate functionality. However, by and large, using SELECT * causes performance problems.

I’ll use SELECT * for one-off queries (well, something like SELECT TOP(100) * but same difference), but it’s a really bad practice to include that in application code for the reasons Grant mentions.