Saving a Query Plan for Reuse
By: Tibor Nagy
Graphical Plans can be saved for later use by saving them in an XML format for future analysis.
To save the Graphical Query Plan you can right-click in the Execution Plan window and select Save Execution Plan As... or you can select Save Execution Plan As... option from the File menu. These files are typically saved with a .sqlplan extension.
You can also look at the Query Plan in XML format using the Show Execution Plan XML... as shown below.
To open a previously saved XML formatted Query Plan in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio from the File menu select Open... -> File and open the .sqlplan file that you saved.
- How to: Save an Execution Plan in XML Format article on MSDN