The mystery behind the statistics name _WA_Sys

If you are familiar with SQL Server statistics, you might have encountered the statistics names that are prefixed with _WA_Sys. These are generated by SQL Server during query optimization step if column statistics are missing, and if Auto Create Statistics option is enabled. For years it was believed that the ‘WA’ stands for state code for Washington, the headquarters of Microsoft. However here is a different story.

“…..Contrary to the common opinion, the WA does not refer to Washington (home of SQL Server) but rather to Waterloo, Canada, where the Sybase product was developed”

This can be an official statement since the above sentence is a quote from the book Training Kit (Exam 70-462): Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases, the official book for the training from Microsoft Press.

Note: For those who wonder (especially newbies) what’s between Sybase and Microsoft, read the history here.

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