I work on a cloud application using SQL Server (2008R2 or 2012 depending on the server). Recently some clients have requested the ability to view query plans themselves.

I can get the query plan xml without difficulty, but I've just realised that the majority of these clients aren't going to have a SQL Server available to them to open the *.sqlplan file that we've normally used inhouse for examining them.

Is there any way to provide the sqlplan files to these clients without them requiring SQL Server to view them? It's preferred if I can do it directly via Powershell and SQL, but I'm open to anything.


They don't require SQL Server full installation to view the execution plans. They just need the tools/client software, which they should realize this if they want to look at them.

They can use the following to view a plan file:

  • This should work perfectly. I guess I should have checked if SSMS had a free version. I'll let the client know. – Elmepo Mar 20 '17 at 23:56

You also can try new Brent Ozar's website free feature - Paste the Plan. This is an absolutely free place, where you can paste your XML Plan and share the link with others. Along with SQL Sentry Plan Explorer it is a very convenient way of viewing plans. Check this out: https://www.brentozar.com/pastetheplan/

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