SQL Server Management Studio February update
, we released a new update for the Plan Comparison Tool. In case you missed it before, we introduced this tool inside SSMS back in October (CTP2.4), with which you can do offline comparison of execution plans, from SQL Server 2005 to the latest and greatest. You can learn more about how to start comparing your plans in the previous post
So what has changed since then? A lot in fact, and to address the feedback we got, we needed to go one step beyond the Comparison Tool itself. We made changes to the user experience even when you are viewing a single execution plan, which in turn improves plan comparison.
Beginning with overall plan viewing, improving usability even with a single plan:
We have improved the
performance of opening large plans
(large is not necessarily plan size in MB but in number of statements). Opening a plan with 85 statements took
in SSMS 2014, and
in SSMS 1026 RC, in my test machine.
Then there’s improved “real-estate” usage and navigation:
Remember those larger plans where operators were placed at the end of
long vertical lines
, and you quickly lost track of what you were trying to look at? Because it’s said a picture is worth a thousand words, just look at the
In SSMS 2014
In SSMS 2016 RC
Whenever possible, the
optimized operator placement
will allow you to better navigate the plan.
Still looking at large plans, wasn’t it painful to navigate using the scroll bars?
mouse dragging is enabled
. Open a plan and just click-and-hold your mouse button, and start dragging around. I personally have a hard time going back to a time I didn’t have this.
Also, we enabled
in-scope live zoom
. If you have selected an operator in the plan, just press the CTRL key and use your mouse wheel to zoom in or out, while focused on the operator you selected.
I want to edit my query, how can I do that easily?
So far, you would probably click on the root node, open the Properties tab, click on the Statement and a new window pops up, where you copy the text to a new SSMS window for editing. That’s a lot of work…
Or you would use the context menu option Edit Query Text that was introduced some time ago. Maybe you didn’t even notice it was there.
Now you have a
button right next to your query
. Click on it and start editing the query in a new window. Simple.
Now to what is specific to the Plan Comparison Tool, using the same practical example in previous
Same as before, when two showplans are compared, regions of the plan that do
essentially the same thing
are highlighted in the same color and boundary texture. But now we are highlighting the entire similar region/segment (which can still be a single operator though), as seen below, marked as
Live zoom is simultaneous
in both compared plan windows.
In the properties tab, which
now opens by default
when you compare plans,
differences in property values between plans are highlighted with an arrow,
making it easier to spot differences in a long list of properties, as seen below, marked as
Also in the properties tab,
each plan is now tagged with its position in the comparison window
for better mapping of which plan is which. In the picture below, marked as
But if you right-click anywhere on a compared plan and choose to
toggle the orientation
, the tag changes accordingly. In the picture below, marked as
Finishing up with a more
of similar regions/segments being highlighted and a wider set of plan differences:
There are a few
more exciting improvements planned, several already in the making
, which will be released in upcoming releases of SSMS.
All these and upcoming improvements would not be possible without
, so keep it coming. Please use the comment section or better yet, the “Email Blog Author” on the right for that purpose –
many thanks in advance for your feedback!