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2012-06-10The Join Operation
An SQL query walks into a bar and sees two tables.
He walks up to them and asks ’Can I join you?’— Source: Unknown
The join operation transforms data from a normalized model into a denormalized form that suits a specific processing purpose. Joining is particularly sensitive to disk seek latencies because it combines scattered data fragments. Proper indexing is again the best solution to reduce response times. The correct index however depends on which of the three common join algorithms is used for the query.
There is, however, one thing that is common to all join algorithms: they process only two tables at a time. A SQL query with more tables requires multiple steps: first building an intermediate result set by joining two tables, then joining the result with the next table and so forth.
Even though the join order has no impact on the final result, it still affects performance. The optimizer will therefore evaluate all possible join order permutations and select the best one. That means that just optimizing a complex statement might become a performance problem. The more tables to join, the more execution plan variants to evaluate—mathematically speaking: n! (factorial growth), though this is not a problem when using bind parameters.
The more complex the statement the more important using bind parameters becomes.
Not using bind parameters is like recompiling a program every time.