The SQL Server 2014 DDL Bulldozer Part 1.1: Implicit Insert

Previously I posted my experimentation with wait_at_low_priority. Specifically, I investigated what would happen when index rebuild was executed while another session was inserting data.

Next we want to see what happens when the index rebuild (with wait_at_low_priority abort blockers specified) is running and the insert is subsequently executed.

Here’s the setup (note that I’ve pre-populated tempdb.dbo.numbers with 15 million rows):

use master;

alter event session ddl_bulldozer on server
state = start;


use tempdb;

alter index ix_tmp_numbers_num on dbo.numbers
rebuild with (
data_compression = page,
online = on ( wait_at_low_priority ( max_duration = 0 minutes,
abort_after_wait = blockers ))

use master;

alter event session ddl_bulldozer on server
state = stop;


drop table #ddl_bulldozer
select object_name, cast(event_data as xml) event_data
into #ddl_bulldozer
from sys.fn_xe_file_target_read_file('ddl_bulldozer*',null,null,null) xf

x.d.value('@timestamp','datetime2(3)') event_timestamp,
x.d.value('(action[@name="session_id"]/value)[1]','int') session_id,
x.d.value('(data[@name="statement"]/value)[1]','nvarchar(max)') sql_statement,
x.d.value('(data[@name="state"]/text)[1]','nvarchar(max)') sql_state,
x.d.value('(data[@name="duration"]/value)[1]','bigint') duration,
x.d.value('(data[@name="type"]/text)[1]','sysname') ddl_type,
x.d.value('(data[@name="abort_after_wait"]/text)[1]','sysname') abort_after_wait,
x.d.value('(data[@name="transaction_state"]/text)[1]','sysname') transaction_state,
x.d.value('(data[@name="killed_process_id"]/value)[1]','int') killed_process_id,
x.d.value('(action[@name="attach_activity_id"]/value)[1]', 'varchar(50)'),
1, 36) as uniqueidentifier) as activity_id,
x.d.value('(action[@name="attach_activity_id"]/value)[1]', 'varchar(50) '),
38, 10) as int) as event_sequence,
x.d.value('(action[@name="attach_activity_id_xfer"]/value)[1]', 'varchar(50)'),
1, 36) as uniqueidentifier) as activity_id_xfer
from #ddl_bulldozer db
cross apply event_data.nodes('//event') x(d)
where db.object_name not like 'lock%'
order by event_timestamp,event_sequence

On my test instance, the rebuild takes about 28 seconds to complete, so during that time, I switch to another window and run the insert session:

kick off an implicit transaction
(with code shamelessly lifted from Kendra Little at:
use tempdb;

Pass1 AS ( SELECT 1 AS C FROM Pass0 AS A , Pass0 AS B),
Pass2 AS ( SELECT 1 AS C FROM Pass1 AS A , Pass1 AS B),
Pass3 AS ( SELECT 1 AS C FROM Pass2 AS A , Pass2 AS B),
Pass4 AS ( SELECT 1 AS C FROM Pass3 AS A , Pass3 AS B),
Pass5 AS ( SELECT 1 AS C FROM Pass4 AS A , Pass4 AS B),
tally AS ( SELECT row_number() OVER ( Order BY C ) AS N FROM Pass5 )
insert numbers
select *
FROM tally
WHERE N <= 1000000;

Once again, the insert fails (after about 12 seconds) and sends the error message to the client
but what happened along the way?
I’ve added a new event (progress_report_online_index_operation) for a bit more visibility into what’s occurring. What we see is the index rebuild starting (line 2, in green) and the ddl_with_wait_at_low_priority event firing because we told the ddl operation to wait at low priority. About four seconds later was when I started the insert (in red). Along the way, we see that the index rebuild is making progress under different activity_id‘s. Because this is an online index rebuild so the page organization is occurring in tempdb and the second (insert) session is allowed to continue its activity, for now. Also note the quick termination of the statement for the sake of a recompile on the insert (recompile cause: “schema changed”).
At the end of it all, the insert transaction is killed and rolled back, just as in the last test. However, because the index rebuiled was online, the metadata operation to switch the rebuild index structure would be the first block the rebuild encountered. At this point, the insert still has its X lock (as before) on the object. This lock is terminated and the transaction is rolled back, paving the path for the metadata index structure switch.

The SQL Server 2014 DDL Bulldozer Part 1: Implicit Insert

Of the fascinating new features in SQL Server 2014, the one that provides me the most catharsis has got to be wait_at_low_priority. If your maintenance window SLA is threatened by “accidental” report cycles spilling into the window, perhaps you’ll want to explore this extension. While there are many blog posts out there to explain how to use it, I wanted to explore it and how it could apply to a variety of situations.
Continue reading

Can you repro this bug? Trace Flag 2363 Causes Fatal Exceptions on Windowed Aggregates

While testing SQL Server 2014 Enterprise edition, I wanted to see if I could use trace flag 2363 to gather meaningful information for statistics analysis. Part of this analysis included getting some information on the statistics in question.

With Trace Flag 2363 enabled:

DBCC TRACEON(2363,-1);
schema_name =,
table_name =,
stats_name =,
leading_column = index_col(quotename('.'+quotename(,s.stats_id,1),
modification_percent = (100.*sp.modification_counter)/sp.unfiltered_rows
,avg_rows_in_db = avg(1.*sp.unfiltered_rows) over ()
from sys.stats s
join sys.tables t
on s.object_id = t.object_id
join sys.schemas sh
on t.schema_id = sh.schema_id
cross apply sys.dm_db_stats_properties(s.object_id,s.stats_id) sp
where != 'sys';

This results in a severe error to the client

Msg 0, Level 11, State 0, Line 77
A severe error occurred on the current command. The results, if any, should be discarded.
Msg 0, Level 20, State 0, Line 77
A severe error occurred on the current command. The results, if any, should be discarded.

Parsing the minidump with WinDbg, I arrived at this as the faulting module


I’ve attempted repro with user tables and different aggregates and still get the same issues. If you can reproduce, feel free to vote at the Connect item below.