Exploring the SQL Server Source Code

Paul White
60 minutes
F1 - The Performance
SQL Server is (sadly) not an open source product, so we cannot simply download the source code from to see exactly how it works internally. However, Microsoft do helpfully provide public debugging symbols for every released version (including service packs and cumulative updates). The public symbols only list module and method names, not every line of code, but the exposed names are sufficiently descriptive that the patient symbols-equipped explorer can gain some useful insights to the way SQL Server works at a very low level of detail. This demo-heavy session will use the WinDbg debugger from the Debugging Tools for Windows to explore how the SQL Server Query Processor interacts with the Storage Engine to run execution plans. You will see how execution plans run left to right, row-by-row, and see a number of interesting internal details of the complex implementation that lies behind the apparent simplicity of graphical execution plans.

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