I'm attempting to run a DELETE statement from my local SQL Server to delete appropriate records from a table in my remote linked server using OPENQUERY(). I'm using the following code, but it seems slow and I don't want to be pounding my server with bad SQL. Should I be using OPENQUERY() for this? Should I be deleting from it a different way that's more direct?

Here's my code:

DELETE RemoteTable
FROM OPENQUERY(MyLinkedServer,'SELECT * from RemoteTable_T1') AS RemoteTable
INNER JOIN MyDB.dbo.LocalTable_T1 AS LocalTable
ON LocalTable.LocalTable_T1_EntryID = RemoteTable.RemoteTable_T1_EntryID;

Any improvements I can make on this code since it is going to be set up as a recurring task on my server? I have about 5 different variations of this in order to delete from 5 different tables on my linked server.


In my experience, DML statements over Linked Servers is sllooowww (I believe that is the proper, technical spelling of this particular type of slowness ;-).

I found that the following setup was mucho faster:

  1. Create a stored procedure on the remote server:

    • Call it something like RemoteTable_DeleteByEntryIDList
    • It should accept an NVARCHAR(MAX) parameter called @EntryIDs
    • The format of the data for that parameter will be a list of EntryIDs in XML
    • The parameter cannot be of type XML as that is not valid for passing over a Linked Server
    • The proc will do something along the lines of:

      ;WITH cte AS
          SELECT CONVERT(XML, @EntryIDs) AS [Data]
      INSERT INTO #TempIDs ([EntryID])
        SELECT tmp.[EntryID]
        FROM   cte
        CROSS APPLY (SELECT tab.col.value('./EntryID[1]', 'INT') AS [EntryID]
                     FROM   cte.[Data].nodes('/row') tab(col)
                    ) tmp;
      -- optional: test to see if it helps or hurts
      -- ALTER TABLE #TempIDs
      --   ADD CONSTRAINT [PK_#TempIDs]
      --   WITH FILLFACTOR = 100;
      DELETE rt
      FROM   RemoteTable rt
      INNER JOIN #TempIDs tmp
              ON tmp.[EntryID] = rt.[EntryID];
  2. Update your local stored proc to do something like:

    SET @IDsToDelete = (
      SELECT EntryID
      FROM   dbo.LocalTable
    EXEC [MyLinkedServer].[DatbaseName].[SchemaName].[RemoteTable_DeleteByEntryIDList]
         @EntryIDs = @IDsToDelete;

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