SQL Server 2022 Parameter Sensitive Plan Optimization: How PSP Can Help Some Queries With IF Branches

Time Served


I’ve spent a bit of time talking about how IF branches can break query performance really badly in SQL Server.

While the Parameter Sensitive Plan (PSP) optimization won’t fix every problem with this lazy coding habit, it can fix some of them in very specific circumstances, assuming:

  • The parameter is eligible for PSP
  • The parameter is present across IF branches

We’re going to use a simple one parameter example to illustrate the potential utility here.

After all, if I make these things too complicated, someone might leave a comment question.

The horror

IFTTT


Here’s the procedure we’re using. The point is to execute one branch if @Reputation parameter is equal to one, and another branch if it equals something else.

In the bad old days, both queries would get a plan optimized at compile time, and neither one would get the performance boost that you hoped for.

In the good news days that you’ll probably get to experience around 2025, things are different!

CREATE OR ALTER PROCEDURE 
    dbo.IFTTT 
(
    @Reputation int
)
AS 
BEGIN
SET NOCOUNT, XACT_ABORT ON;

SET STATISTICS XML ON;  

    IF @Reputation = 1
    BEGIN
        SELECT 
            u.Id, 
            u.DisplayName, 
            u.Reputation, 
            u.CreationDate
        FROM dbo.Users AS u
        WHERE u.Reputation = @Reputation;
    END;

    IF @Reputation > 1
    BEGIN
        SELECT 
            u.Id, 
            u.DisplayName, 
            u.Reputation, 
            u.CreationDate
        FROM dbo.Users AS u
        WHERE u.Reputation = @Reputation;
    END;

SET STATISTICS XML OFF; 

END;
GO 

Johnson & Johnson


If we execute these queries back to back, each one gets a new plan:

EXEC dbo.IFTTT 
    @Reputation = 1;
GO 

EXEC dbo.IFTTT 
    @Reputation = 2;
GO
SQL Server Query Plan
psychic driving

Optimize For You


The reason why is in the resulting queries, as usual. The Reputation column has enough skew present to trigger the PSP optimization, so executions with differently-bucketed parameter values end up with different plans.

option (PLAN PER VALUE(QueryVariantID = 3, predicate_range([StackOverflow2013].[dbo].[Users].[Reputation] = @Reputation, 100.0, 1000000.0)))

option (PLAN PER VALUE(QueryVariantID = 2, predicate_range([StackOverflow2013].[dbo].[Users].[Reputation] = @Reputation, 100.0, 1000000.0)))

And of course, each plan has different compile and runtime values:

SQL Server Query Plan
care

If I were to run this demo in a compatibility level under 160, this would all look totally different.

This is one change I’m sort of interested to see the play-out on.

Thanks for reading!

Going Further


If this is the kind of SQL Server stuff you love learning about, you’ll love my training. I’m offering a 75% discount on to my blog readers if you click from here. I’m also available for consulting if you just don’t have time for that and need to solve performance problems quickly.



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