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This standalone Windows application contains many of the plan analysis features included in the full SentryOne software, but does not require a collector service or database.
Plan Explorer is a single installation file containing the application and the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) add-in, which allows you to jump directly to Plan Explorer from SSMS.
Plan Explorer's scoring algorithms help you determine the best index to support a given query. Easily view recommended indexes, create and modify indexes, and detect and update old statistics. Watch the score change in real time as you work toward the elusive 100% score—before executing a single line of code against SQL Server.
Clearly see the impact of compiled and runtime query parameters on performance, quickly spot data skew that can contribute to parameter sniffing issues, visualize potential ascending key problems, and identify opportunities for filtered indexes.
Replay queries with access to their live performance statistics through integrated history charts. With Plan Explorer, you can play back the query profile to see exactly which operators are adding the most load on system resources—without the need to run the query again.
Instead of delivering only an estimated (and often inaccurate) cost for a plan operator, Plan Explorer can display the actual observed costs. You can see the difference by toggling the view between Estimated and Actual cost.
Quickly identify the costliest operators through intuitive color-coding and a variety of display options, such as viewing operator costs by I/O or CPU.
Simply right-click an execution plan and choose the ”View with SentryOne Plan Explorer“ context menu option. The add-in works with SSMS for SQL Server 2005 and later.
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Easily compare two or more plans or sessions side-by-side, or pull a tab into a different monitor with a Visual Studio-like docking interface.
Easily investigate the processes and queries involved in a deadlock with instant access to all of the information you need—and none that you don’t. Plan Explorer displays the sequence of operations on the diagram, with the full query text and call stack in the
The Statements Tree allows you to sort by any column, making it easier to focus on a specific metric without having to find it in the graphical plan. You can easily spot statements with the highest costs, duration, CPU, I/O, and row counts. You also can quickly see discrepancies between actual and estimated metrics.
The Plan Tree shows the hierarchical representation of the query plan. Quickly spot costly scan operations and discrepancies in actual vs. estimated row counts, and immediately see imbalanced thread distribution in parallel operations.
The Join Diagram tab shows the underlying tables even when complex and nested views are involved. You can quickly visualize the relationship between tables involved in the plan and easily reorganize the layout using drag-and-drop functionality.
The Query Columns tab shows every column being used in the plan, and its associated operation and index. It also shows whether columns are used for sorting, grouping, or filtering.
The Parameters tab shows all query parameters and their compiled values. You can quickly spot potential plan issues due to parameter sniffing. With actual plans, you also can compare compiled and runtime values.
The Expressions tab shows simplified and expanded expressions that are used in the query. By looking at the tab, you can discover implicit conversions that you might not have spotted otherwise.
The Table I/O tab shows the I/O against each table and worktable involved in the plan, as well as the scan count per table. This tab also shows the logical, physical, and read-ahead reads, separated by in-row and LOB data, per table.
The layouts panel lets you easily manage bigger query plans. With the easy-to-use toolbar, you can rotate, stretch, and flatten your plans. You can also zoom in or out, as well as apply a cost filter, which will remove operators if their cost is less than the specified value.
The Wait Stats tab is supported when generating actual plans against SQL Server 2008 and later versions. This tab lets you quickly correlate and compare different types of waits that result from query or schema changes.
See the full tree and actual runtime metrics for all nested statements, aggregated to the calling statement. Easily trace the source of statements from dynamic SQL, conditional logic, loops, and nested procedure calls.
See when statistics were last updated, as well as the effectiveness of the column ordering, column selectivity, size, and density. Plan Explorer makes it easy for you to see the statistics details, understand the optimizer’s choices, and determine how to get a better plan.
You can see the full tree and immediately see differences between compiled and runtime parameters. Generate a new estimated plan based on different parameter values you specify, and easily compare plans based on different parameter values to see whether the optimizer has changed the plan strategy.
Plan Explorer helps you quickly get to the root of tough query tuning issues by making it obvious where issues exist in your execution plan. From highlighting expensive operations to allowing you to sort by any metric in most grids, you're never more than a click or two away from pinpointing a tuning opportunity.
Plan Explorer exposes many details about plan operators that either
Query Plan Community
Built-in integration allows you to easily anonymize and post your query plans on SQLPerformance.com.
SQLPerformance.com integration allows you to ask questions and get advice from SQL Server experts all over the world.
Help others, and discuss the latest query tuning and SQL Server topics on SQLPerformance.com
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