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Stored Procedures !! Some Facts you should know August 22, 2007

Posted by furrukhbaig in Performance, SQL Server 2005, TSQL.
Tags: , ,

Most of us are familliar with the stored procedures and use them on daily bases. But there are some facts which can cause some performance issues and here I just want to shed some light on them.

  • Always use qualified name when calling sprocs for example EXEC dbo.Your_Proc

This is very common mistake which cause an extra trip to procedure cache to get execution plan for execution. SQL Server compiles stored procedure on its first execution and store the execution plan in procedure cache to be reuse in subsequent call for same sproc. In order to get the execution plan it require qualified stored procedure name e.g. dbo.My_Proc (fully qualified name contain Server.Database.Owner.My_Proc). When owner name is not specified then initial cache lookup by object name fails as owner name was not specified. SQL Server then acquire exclusive compile lock on stored procedure and all the referenced objects including tables for recompilation. Next step SQL Server will resolve the object name to a objectID and before compilation it makes another trip to procedure cache by using object id that can result finding previous exection plan. But as you noticed this can cause blocking in certain situation where many SPIDs are calling same sproc frequently and while its is lock for compilation all the caller have to wait until sql server find the execution plan in cache or recompile the sproc.

So the rule of thumb is Always qualify your objects (sproc, tables, views, functions) with owner name.

This behaviour can be captured using profiler by capturing following events.

The SP:CacheMiss event occurs when the cache lookup by name fails. The subsequent SP:ExecContextHit indicates that a matching cached plan was ultimately found in cache once the ambiguous object name had been resolved to an object ID. Depending on the circumstances, SP:CacheHit may appear in place of SP:ExecContextHit.

for more detail see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263889


This can cause extra network traffic and can have some serious impact on performance when sproc get called frequently.

  • Don’t use sp_ prefix in stored procedure name

As sp_ prefix is reserved for system stored procedure and any stored procedure which has sp_ prefix will cause an extra lookup in MASTER database. There is another point to note that if a stored procedure uses same name, in user database as system stored procedure in master database, the stored procedure in user database will never get executed as SQL Server will always look first in master database and will execute that one rather one in user database.

  • Avoid using temp tables and DDL statements

This can cause stored procedure recompile when temp table, created in stored procedure, get referenced first time within stored procedure. Due to non-existense of statistics optimizer will not be able to reuse or create execution plan for queries using temp table which is created within stored procedure. Same applies on DDL statement as they also force stored procedure to recompile.

When a batch is recompiled in SQL Server 2000, all of the statements in the batch are recompiled, not just the one that triggered the recompilation. SQL Server 2005 improves upon this behavior by compiling only the statement that caused the recompilation, not the entire batch. This “statement-level recompilation” feature will improve SQL Server 2005’s recompilation behavior when compared to that of SQL Server 2000. In particular, SQL Server 2005 spends less CPU time and memory during batch recompilations, and obtains fewer compile locks.


1. Biju feb - October 18, 2007



2. Yakhub - January 24, 2008

Thanks a lot, this is very much helpful for every database user or admin.


3. Anonymous - February 25, 2008

Do you know if “Always use qualified name when calling sprocs for example EXEC dbo.Your_Proc” still applies to SQL Server 2005? The linked MS support article mentions SQL 7.0 and 2000 only.

Either way, great tips!


4. furrukhbaig - February 25, 2008

please see applies to section at the bottom of the article. It include all editions of SQL Server 2005.


5. Devi - December 29, 2008

Gud stuff.


6. srikanth - December 29, 2008

Good one. It helped me alot.


7. Anonymous - May 28, 2009

good …..It helps more more …keep going good stuff….


8. Read This Link » Stored Procedures !! Some Facts you should know - January 9, 2010

[…] Stored Procedures !! Some Facts you should know […]


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