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Delete and truncate comparison

Posted on 2015-01-19
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Last Modified: 2015-01-20
Please add your take on the following statements:

1. Some drop a table and recreate it because it is faster than deleting it.

2. Delete, deletes the data based on where clause from data pages (?) thus lowers the performance because disk fragmentation that occurs during the delete operation. SQL Server rebuilds the indexes and defrags disk later but not right-away.

3. Truncate deletes data the data and deals with data fragmentation right away (slows SQL Server engine at that time)
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Question by:Mike Eghtebas
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Jim Horn earned 250 total points
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1.

Correct, although TRUNCATE will be faster than DELETE ALL, and you may blow away privs on an object by doing a DROP and CREATE vs. keeping it alive with a TRUNCATE.

2.

Decrease speed as it has to process a WHERE clause, yes, everything else I'll defer to the DBA experts here.

3.

TRUNCATE blows away all pages, plus it's only minimally logged (if it wasn't it wouldn't be able to particiate in a transaction), so it's much faster than DELETE.
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by:Scott Pletcher
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1.  Not logical.  It would be faster to just truncate the table.

2.  Delete would not have a WHERE clause if you're trying to mimic a truncate.  The big difference is that Delete logs each row, while Truncate only logs each page.

3.  Truncate does the remove the data right away and eliminate fragmentation.  But it does not "slow" the SQL engine.  The pages to be deleted must be logged regardless of the method used to delete them.
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by:Scott Pletcher
Scott Pletcher earned 150 total points
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A WHERE clause on a DELETE could speed up the DELETEs considerably, since it could reduce, possibly drastically, the number of rows that needed DELETEd.

I'm not sure that TRUNCATE is technically "minimally logged".  At any rate, if you are in full recovery model, it can't be anyway.
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by:Dung Dinh
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Some more information about comparison between DELETE and TRUNCATE
https://databaseskills.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/compare-truncate-and-delete-statement/
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