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Quick Analysis of Cached Query Plans in SQL Server 2005

I run this one pretty frequently when we need to figure out what procs are killing a complex ETL process and what exactly about them is making the server cry. So basically, if it's on the development server, I'll do a DBCC FREEPROCCACHE and a DBCC DROPCLEANBUFFERS, run the entire set of ETLs, then run this query and then dig deeper in to the query plans that look suspect (high *Scan counts usually, sometimes lots of Hash Matches or Merge Joins). On a production server, the clearing of the proc cache and dropcleanbuffers can be problematic so I'll often just run the query after a scheduled ETL run. If you want to see the query plans mapped out visually, click on the query_plan value and SSMS will open up the XML. Then save that XML file as a .sqlplan file. Once you have that, close the XML and then open the .sqlplan file.