I’ve been going through a large database for a client of mine and finding foreign key and check constraints that are marked “untrusted”. This happens when a relationship between two tables has some rows with foreign key column values that don’t have a match in the related table. When this happens, Microsoft SQL Server can’t use the query optimizer as well to lookup matches between the two tables when running queries. This results in sub-optimal performance.

Unfortunately I discovered today, if the foreign key column accepts NULL, you can still run a query to re-enable the check constraint without error, but it will still be marked as “untrusted” in INFORMATION_SCHEMA and will not benefit from the query optimization available to trusted keys!

Hopefully this helps someone out there to reduce the work you need to do when determining a data optimization strategy around dealing with existing untrusted checks.

data access, domain, microsoft

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