First, thanks to everyone who attended my session at SQL Saturday #634 Iowa City! I spoke about execution plans and how to begin reading them. Here’s a link to my session.
I had an attendee come up afterwards who mentioned that Live Query Statistics could be used with the newest version of Management Studio to watch query execution plans live on older versions of SQL Server. I was completely unaware of this, and this feature is really awesome. Live Query Statistics allows you to watch what indexes or actions SQL Server is doing while your query executes. This works really well if your query runs for one or more minutes and you want to see what is taking this much time.
Once I learned this, I was curious what versions this feature can be used on. I figured there were some limitations, so I made sure I had the latest release of Management Studio (Standalone), at the time of this post, it’s 17.1. It appears to me that the oldest version of SQL Server where this will work is SQL Server 2014, based on a test I ran locally and documentation.
Here’s the screenshot, directly from Microsoft’s documentation on Live Query Statistics:
This is super cool since it’s a lot of work to upgrade a SQL Server, and this lets me use these features without upgrading (yet).