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Query Hints: The Jekyll and Hyde of T-SQL Development
Dealing with the SQL Server optimizer can be maddening at times. One moment it will take a seemingly impossible query and make it run in no time flat. At other times, the optimizer will insist on a poor plan even though a much better alternative is available. What should you do when the optimizer won't behave? One option we have available is the use of query hints. While almost everyone agrees that query hints should be avoided whenever possible, there are some situations that make this difficult to achieve. Sometimes the judicious use of a query hint can save the day, but since hints are a taboo subject, we do not discuss them as much as we should. In this session, Chris Leonard will examine many commonly-used query hints in detail, and will also discuss alternatives that can help you avoid the unnecessary use of query hints. Along the way, he will touch on many aspects of performance tuning that affect the need for query hints and their effectiveness.
Database Development Manager
I am the Manager of Database Development for Registration and Aftermarket Services at My team runs and supports the world's largest Internet domain name registrar, with over 40M domains under management, and our servers conduct approximately 1.5 billion transactions per day I've worked with databases all the time since 1989. I started working with SQL Server at version 4.21a. In previous lives I have been an opera singer and an Oracle MVP (of sorts). In my personal life I try keep time available to enjoy my wife and four kids, and to follow Jesus no matter what.
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  Top Reasons to Attend
PASS Summit 2010
  • Over 160 technical sessions from the world's top SQL Server and BI experts
  • 2 full days of deep-dive Pre- and Post-Conference Seminars
  • Networking with thousands of SQL Server MVPs, experts, Microsoft employees, and peers
  • Face-to-face support with the Microsoft CSS and SQLCAT teams
  • Ask the Experts Lounge
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