A visual representation of SQL Server Agent jobs

If all you have is a hammer, everything will eventually start looking like a nail. This is generally known as Maslow’s hammer and refers to the fact that you use the tools you know to solve any problem, regardless if that’s what the problem actually needs. With that said, I frequently need a way to visualize the load distribution of scheduled jobs over a day or week, but I could never be bothered to set up a web server, learn a procedural programming language or build custom visualizations in PowerBI.

So here’s how to do that without leaving Management Studio.

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Reading a query plan

Knowing how to read a query plan is absolutely key to optimizing SQL Server query performance. The query plan tells you how SQL Server goes about running your query, including what indexes are used (and how), what join strategies are applied and a lot of other information. If you can read the query plan, you can make the appropriate changes to indexes, query hints, join conditions, etc to tune your workload for optimum performance.

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