Home > Articles > Data > SQL Server

This chapter is from the book

Statement-Level Recompilation

The next thing we'll look at is a performance enhancement that is part of the infrastructural improvements in T-SQL: statement recompilation. In SQL Server 2000, the query plan architecture differs from previous versions, and it is divided into two structures: a compiled plan and an executable plan.

  • Compiled plan (a.k.a. query plan)—A read-only data structure used by any number of users. The plan is reentrant, which implies that all users share the plan and no user context information (such as data variable values) is stored in the compiled plan. There are never more than one or two copies of the query plan in memory—one copy for all serial executions and another for all parallel executions.

  • Executable plan—A data structure for each user that concurrently executes the query. This data structure, which is called the executable plan or execution context, holds the data specific to each user's execution, such as parameter values.

This architecture, paired with the fact that the execution context is reused, has very much improved the execution of not only stored procedures but functions, batches, dynamic queries, and so on. However, there is a common problem with executing stored procedures, and that is recompilation. Examples of things that cause recompilation to occur are as follows:

  • Schema changes

  • Threshold changes in rows

  • Certain SET options

Figure 02Figure 7-2: Trace Properties Dialog for SQL Profiler

A recompilation can incur a huge cost especially if the procedure, function, or batch is large, because SQL Server 2000 does module-level recompilation. In other words, the whole procedure is recompiled even if the cause of the recompilation affects only a small portion of the procedure. In addition, if the recompilation happens because a SET option changes, the executable plan will be invalidated and not cached. The code in Listing 7-1 is extremely simple, but it can be used to illustrate the problem.

Figure 3Figure 7-3: Trace Output

Listing 7-1 is a stored procedure which in the middle of the procedure changes the CONCAT_NULL_YIELDS_NULL option. When this runs against SQL Server 2000, a recompilation happens for each execution of the procedure.

Listing 7-1: Procedure That Causes Recompilation


SELECT 'before set option'

—//change a set option

SELECT 'after set option'

To verify that recompilation happens on SQL Server 2000, do the following:

  1. Catalog the procedure in Listing 7-1.

  2. Open the SQL Server Profiler and from the File menu, select New | Trace.

  3. When the Trace Properties dialog comes up, choose the Events tab.

  4. In the Stored Procedures event group, choose the SP:Recompile event, click the Add button, as shown in Figure 7-2, and then click Run.

  5. Execute the procedure a couple of times from Query Analyzer and view the trace output.

  6. The output from the trace will show a couple of entries in the Event Class column with the value of SP:Recompile, as in Figure 7-3. This indicates that the procedure has been recompiled.

Figure 4Figure 7-4: Trace Properties Dialog in SQL Server 2005

As mentioned before, the cost of recompilation can be very high for large procedures, and in the SQL Server 2005 release, Microsoft has changed the model to statement-level re-compilation. At this stage you may worry that performance will suffer if each statement in a procedure is individually recompiled. Rest assured that the initial compilation is still on the module level, so only if a recompile is needed is it done per statement.

Another performance benefit in SQL Server 2005 is the fact that when statement recompilation is done, the execution context will not be invalidated. The procedure in Listing 7-1 can be used in SQL Server 2005 to compare the differences between SQL Server 2000 and 2005. In SQL Server 2005, follow the steps listed earlier and notice in the trace how a recompile happens only the first time; for each subsequent execution, there is no recompile. This is due to the fact that an execution plan will be created after the initial recompile. Run the following code after you have executed the procedure a couple of times, and notice that the result you get consists of both a compiled plan and an executable plan.

SELECT * FROM syscacheobjects
WHERE dbid = db_id('pubs') 
AND objid = object_id('test2')

To be certain that you get the correct result, you can clean out the cache before you execute the procedure by executing dbcc freeproccache.

When setting up the trace, you will see how the SQL Profiler allows you to trace more events than in SQL Server 2000. Figure 7-4 shows the Events Selection tab from the Trace Properties dialog.

As mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, the statement-level recompilation can be seen as a purely infrastructural enhancement. As a developer or DBA, you will not explicitly use it even though you implicitly benefit from it, and it may change the way you develop stored procedures. No longer do recompiles have as much of a negative impact on performance.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020