This is something I touched on back in 2017 a little after the Live Query Statistics feature was introduced with SQL 2016, but I was using the functionality this morning and felt like it was worth a reminder.
You can use Live Query Stats to check on the progress of an executing query – and you can do it through the GUI in SSMS.
I created a long running query for a demo, and after 15 minutes I was still waiting for it to finish. That was a bit longer than I intended. Should I kill it – or did I just need to wait a few more minutes for it to complete.
You can check this quickly via the Activity Monitor:
Find the query you are interested in in the processes list:
Right-click and select “Show Live Execution Plan”. That will show you something like this:
I can see from this that my query is about 83% complete, so maybe I’ll just wait a little longer. Note that this is a live view, so the numbers keep updating. If I want I can watch the progress.
This is against a SQL 2019 instance and is the out of the box behaviour. Before SQL 2019 you had to enable trace flag 7412 if you wanted this to work:
I think it’s appropriate to give a shout-out to Microsoft at this point, because over the last few releases they’ve given us some of the items that are top of my list.
Recommending and setting MAXDOP during setup (coming with SQL 2019) will hopefully mean I no longer have to have arguments about why the out-of the-box setting isn’t appropriate.
The same with setting max memory in the setup (also with SQL 2019).
A more verbose error where string or binary data might be truncated – we got that in SQL 2017.
It’s the little things like these that make me happy – and make my job easier.
A few other little things I’d like – though I accept that something small to describe isn’t always small in its execution…
A change to the default cost threshold for parallelism – be it 20, be it 30, be it 50. I’d prefer any of those to 5.
I think it would also be great to have a cardinality optimizer hint, e.g. OPTIMIZE FOR 5 ROWS. Oracle has this, and it’s not good having to feel jealous of those working on the dark side 😉 You can do the equivalent but it’s convoluted and not clear what’s going on when the uninitiated see the code:
There is one big thing I’d like – but it’s never going to happen. Get rid of Enterprise Edition – or rather, make Enterprise Edition the standard. Enterprise is comparatively so expensive, it’s rare I’m going to recommend it. It’s interesting to see that in Azure SQLDB we only have one edition to work with – I’d love to see that in the box product. I understand that change would be a massive revenue loss so can’t see it happening.
If not that though, if we could just have at-rest encryption (i.e. TDE) in the Standard Edition that would make me very happy. In these days of security and privacy consciousness it seems that should be a core functionality
Finally, I’d just like to upvote Brent’s idea that it would be great to be able to restore just a single table.
That all said, I’d like to go back to my first point. I love what MS is doing with SQL Server, and the continual improvements that are being made. I particularly love that we sometimes get them for free in service packs and cumulative updates – without having to upgrade to a new version.