Blog covers all things for Microsoft SQL Server

This is a book review of Grant Fritchey’s free book: ‘SQL Server Execution Plans – Third edition‘. Grant Fritchey is a SQL Server MVP with over 30 years’ experience in IT and he runs a blog at .

The updated version of SQL Server Execution Plans is a huge 515 pages long. Chapters were rearranged and pretty much rewritten from scratch according to Fritchey. This gem is in PDF format thankfully! SQL Server Execution Plans contains 17 chapters chock full of information on SQL Server execution plans. The final chapter contains information on execution plan tools such as: SSMS tools, Plan Explorer by SentryOne, Supratimas, etc.

Fritchey states some of the new topics in the third edition include:

  • Automate capturing execution plans using Extended Events
  • New warnings and operators
  • Batch mode processing
  • Adaptive query processing
  • Additional functionality added for SQL Server 2014, 2016, and 2017, as well as Azure SQL Databases

DO not pass up chapter 16 on The Query Store! As Fritchey states ‘This chapter will cover the Query Store as it relates directly to execution plans and execution plan control…’. It’s a great read on how this SQL Server 2016 feature works. It contains detailed information on the query store options, retrieving execution plans from the query store, query store reports, using T-SQL to retrieve query store execution plans, removing execution plans from the query store and much more.

All the T-SQL code used in the book can be found via a web link listed in the book. Most of the T-SQL code can be used against the AdventureWorks2014 sample database. You can download several versions of the sample SQL Server database from github: Adventureworks

Fritchey states ‘…this book took over three years to rewrite and, during that time, three versions of SQL Server were released, and who knows how many changes in Azure were introduced’ So read SQL Server Execution Plans third edition by Grant Fritchey already! It’s a thumbs up from me and it’s absolutely free!