Getting a SQL Server Query Plan


You need to retrieve information about how query statements are executed by the SQL Server.


Use the SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT statement.

The sample code executes the SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT statement, using the ExecuteNonQuery( ) method of the Command object, to retrieve how query statements are executed by the SQL Server.

The C# code is shown in Example 10-9.

Example 10-9. File: ShowPlanForm.cs

// Namespaces, variables, and constants
using System;
using System.Configuration;
using System.Text;
using System.Data;
using System.Data.SqlClient;

// . . . 

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder( );

// Open a new connection.
SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(

// Create and execute the command to retrieve the plan.
SqlCommand cmd = new SqlCommand("SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT ON", conn);
conn.Open( );
cmd.ExecuteNonQuery( );

// Create the command to get the plan for.
cmd.CommandText = "SELECT * FROM Customers WHERE Country='USA' " +
 "ORDER BY CompanyName";

// Retrieve the plan into DataReader.
SqlDataReader dr = cmd.ExecuteReader( );

// Iterate over all result sets and all rows to get plan.
 while (dr.Read( ))
 sb.Append(dr.GetString(0) + Environment.NewLine);
} while(dr.NextResult( ));
dr.Close( );

// Create and execute the command to retrieve query results.
cmd = new SqlCommand("SET SHOWPLAN_TEXT OFF", conn);
cmd.ExecuteNonQuery( );

conn.Close( );

resultTextBox.Text = sb.ToString( );


The SQL SET statement alters current session handling of specific information. Table 10-4 describes the categories of SET statements.

Table 10-4. SET statement categories



Date and Time

Alters current session settings for handling of date and time data


Alters current session settings for handling SQL Server locking


Alters current session settings for miscellaneous SQL Server functionality

Query Execution

Alters current session settings for query execution and processing

SQL-92 Settings

Alters current session settings for using SQL-92 default settings


Alters current session settings for displaying statistics


Alters current session settings for handling SQL Server Transactions

When SHOWPLAN_TEXT (from the Query Execution category) is ON , SQL Server returns a result set containing detailed information about how the SQL statements are going to be executed rather than actually executing the statements. Two result sets are returned for each statement, both containing a single column StmtText . The first result set contains the SQL statement while the second contains rows detailing the plan. For batch SQL statements, the result sets alternate between statement and plan for each statement in the batch.

SHOWPLAN_TEXT does not need to be explicitly set to OFF . It only affects the command issued subsequent to the statement in which it is SET ON , not all of the commands executed while the connection object is open.

SHOWPLAN_ALL returns more information about the plan than just the StmtText column but is turned on and off in the same way.

For more information about the SET statement, SHOWPLAN_TEXT , or SHOWPLAN_ALL , see the topic "SET" in Microsoft SQL Server Books Online.

Connecting to Data

Retrieving and Managing Data

Searching and Analyzing Data

Adding and Modifying Data

Copying and Transferring Data

Maintaining Database Integrity

Binding Data to .NET User Interfaces

Working with XML

Optimizing .NET Data Access

Enumerating and Maintaining Database Objects

Appendix A. Converting from C# to VB Syntax

ADO. NET Cookbook
ADO.NET 3.5 Cookbook (Cookbooks (OReilly))
ISBN: 0596101406
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2002
Pages: 222
Authors: Bill Hamilton © 2008-2020.
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