Here is the thing I have inheritedthis code. I think my biggest issue is the over use of sorts to solve problems. So I am working to simplify the query. My more general question is this came from the system_dm_ views and supposed to be the actual execution plan. BUT has no actuals. What is that telling me? Liink to any article on it would be nice so I can watch and study. Not looking to be spoonfed.
When you retrieve an execution plan from the plan cache on a SQL Server with the "system_dm views", you are retrieving an estimated plan from the plan cache. SQL Server does not store the actual plan and runtime metrics (actuals) in cache.
With Plan Explorer (PE), you can generate an Actual plan easily with the Get Actual Plan button on the toolbar at the top of the PE client.