Here’s a big thank you to Marc for this post on Fast_Forward Cursors. I happened to be debugging a performance problem with a SQL2000 stored procedure today. We have a stored procedure we use to release back orders and it was timing out. When I looked at the execution plan, SQL was using the date index rather than our order status/date index with the query. Since SQL was using the date index, it had to read every order to determine the order status. When I added the FAST_FORWARD parameter to the CURSOR, it used the order status index with the query and the I/O cost dropped from 1119 down to .228.