In the SQL Community, if you ask anybody about the Missing Index Hints of SSMS, people will give negative feedback and tell you that they are useless. Some frown upon those index hints. I will tell you otherwise. Yes, hints are hints. Don’t follow them blindly, but look at them, evaluate and take a call. In most cases, those are covering indexes that are being recommended. Will you go ahead and create covering indexes just because SQL Server is telling you to do so. Not at all. Having a lot of covering indexes on a single table is a recipe for disaster (kind of). But sometimes those hints make complete sense and at other times, they are good candidates for a review. Listen, not everyone is an expert index tuner. So you need a starting point. Well, that hint is not a bad starting point. If I am you and am just getting started with index tuning, I will take a lot of those hints (as recommendations), copy/paste them into my workbook and look for common patterns based on my querying pattern. I am certain, that some decent index definitions may come out of it. Yeah, that could be a winner. So do not ignore hints completely. They are a good starting point. Sounds interesting? Watch the video below.

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