Value of Shrinking a SQL 2012 Database

I have a SQL 2012 DB that is 180GB but list as having 100GB of available free space. Besides saving disk space, is there any value in shrinking the DB? I know shrink a DB causes fragmentation but if you ran a maintenance plan to address this, is there any benefit?
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Vikas GargAssociate Principal EngineerCommented:

There is no benefit except free disk space for shrinking.

But shrinking has more disadvantages like high fragmentation.

So do not use shrink just to get free disk space.

However the free space in database will be utilized in future transactions.
Vitor MontalvãoMSSQL Senior EngineerCommented:
Shrink ONLY benefit is to release space and fragmentation is really a bad side for shrink. Also during shrink process you'll have performance issues since databases pages will be moved.
If you shrink transactional log then you won't have fragmentation issue but VLF's issue.

So, I really don't see no benefit for shrink task. Only do it in as an emergency procedure to free space but be aware of the issues.
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
Typically you don't want to shrink dbs, as stated.

That said, if you have 100G of non-log space unused out of 180G, I would certainly do a shrink(s) to release a big part of that 100G.  Naturally any specific situation may call for temporarily ignoring general rules.
compdigit44Author Commented:
Can a shrink be done online and is there an performance gain in doing so after the fact
Scott PletcherSenior DBACommented:
A shrink is always done "online", i.e., others can still use the db while it is being shrunk.

There is no performance gain from shrinking data files.  There could be from shrinking the log file.

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