Graphical Execution Plans are read from right to left, and top to bottom. So, in the sample Execution Plan below, the order of the execution is:
- Clustered Index Scan happens
- Data gets passed to the Sort operator
- Sort happes
- Data gets passed to the SELECT operator
- SELECT happens
Every operator and arrow in Execution Plans also provides very detailed information about the action that happened.
Details of every step can be found using the Operator's properties and details about every transition between steps can be found using the
By hovering the mouse over every operator or arrow, a giant tooltip appears that contains important properties of that operator/arrow. The tooltip does not contain all the properties, but just the important ones. Below is the Tooltip for a sample operator.
By right-clicking on an operator or arrow and choosing Properties, the Properties Window will display all the details about that operator/arrow. Below is the Properties Window for a sample opeator