Every new version of SQL Server includes new or expanded features that effect query plans. Most (sometimes not all) of the query plan changes (and most of the functionality changes) can be discovered by “diff-ing” the XML schema for query plans between the current/new version and the previous version. I’ve done this before to enumerate the plan changes from SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2012.

Here’s the changes discovered from diff-ing the plan schemas from SQL Server 2012 SP1 to SQL Server 2014 CTP1.

First, the BaseStatementInfoType (these show up as the properties on the far left iterator (e.g. SELECT iterator) has some new attributes. Note that not all of them show up in the CTP1 plans I’ve looked at, the ones I’ve seen in real plans are marked with an asterisk.
CardinalityEstimationModel110* – does this use the new SQL Server 2014 cardinality estimate model or the “legacy” model?
StatementSqlHandle
DatabaseContextSettingsId
ParentObjectId
StatementParameterizationType

There’s also a new reason for non-parallelized plan: NoParallelForMemoryOptimizedTables. I didn’t find this in the diff, but noticed this in real CTP1 plans while looking for the other attributes.

In the QueryPlanType structure, there’s an additional attribute, EffectiveDegreeOfParallelism. This is the maximum parallelism used by a columnstore index build. Parallel columnstore index builds is a new feature.

There’s a few for the Hekaton feature:
– ObjectType/StorageType – new enumeration member: MemoryOptimized*
– TableScanType or RowsetType: New Attribute on (Predicate/PartitionId/IndexedViewInfo) – IsMemoryOptimized*
– IndexKindType enumeration now includes:
NonClusteredHash – Hekaton index*
SelectiveXML and SecondarySelectiveXML – for Selective XML Index feature introduced in SQL Server 2012 SP1. Don’t know why these weren’t in the 2012 SP1 schema.

New Attribute on HashType: BitmapCreator
New Attribute on RelOpType: StatsCollectionId

Note that, as I mentioned before, I haven’t actually seen all these new attributes yet and the XML Schema doesn’t always make discovering where I should look for them easy. But I now know approximately what to look for and looking at query plans in XML format (rather than “picture” format) will help. As time goes on, we’ll find out what causes these attributes to surface. For example, the CardinalityEstimationModel110 attribute appears in most/every query plan, but the EffectiveDegreeOfParallelism requires collecting a query plan for a columnstore index build.

Feel free to let me know if you find any more items. Happy splunking…
Bob