When dealing with a “Query result set too large” error, what options do you have?

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When dealing with a "Query result set too large" error, what options do you have to optimize the query or adjust result set size settings?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023
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Encountering a "Query result set too large" error in Snowflake indicates that the result set generated by your query exceeds the allowed size limit. This error can occur when dealing with large data volumes or complex queries. To address this issue, you can optimize your query and adjust result set size settings using various techniques:

1. **Limit Result Set Size**:
- Use the **`LIMIT`** clause to restrict the number of rows returned by the query. This can help reduce the result set size and prevent the error.
2. **Pagination**:
- Implement pagination by using the **`LIMIT`** and **`OFFSET`** clauses to retrieve a subset of rows in multiple queries. This is useful when presenting results to users.
3. **Aggregation and Summary**:
- Instead of returning detailed data, consider aggregating or summarizing the data using functions like **`SUM`**, **`COUNT`**, **`AVG`**, etc., to reduce the number of rows in the result set.
4. **Filtering and Filtering Conditions**:
- Apply filters using the **`WHERE`** clause to limit the data retrieved by the query. Narrowing down the data can help reduce the result set size.
5. **Optimize JOINs**:
- Optimize join conditions and reduce the number of joins in your query. Consider using indexes or materialized views to improve join performance.
6. **Subqueries and Common Table Expressions (CTEs)**:
- Use subqueries or CTEs to break down complex queries into smaller, more manageable steps. This can help control the size of intermediate result sets.
7. **Column Selection**:
- Select only the columns you need in the result set. Avoid selecting unnecessary columns to reduce the data volume.
8. **Data Aggregation and Grouping**:
- Use the **`GROUP BY`** clause to aggregate data and return summarized results instead of individual rows.
9. **Data Filtering and Pruning**:
- Prune irrelevant or outdated data from your query by applying appropriate filters. This can reduce the amount of data processed and improve query performance.
10. **Data Distribution and Clustering**:
- If your query involves large tables, optimize the distribution and clustering keys to minimize data movement and improve query performance.
11. **Optimize Query Execution Plan**:
- Analyze the query execution plan to identify potential bottlenecks or inefficiencies. Use Snowflake's query profiling tools to optimize the plan.
12. **Materialized Views**:
- Create materialized views to precompute and store intermediate results, reducing the need for complex calculations during query runtime.
13. **Partitioning and Pruning**:
- Utilize partitioning to store and retrieve only relevant data, reducing the amount of data scanned during query execution.
14. **Use Concurrency Scaling**:
- If your Snowflake account supports concurrency scaling, consider enabling it for complex queries to offload computation and handle larger result sets.
15. **Review Resource and Warehouse Settings**:
- Ensure that your warehouse is appropriately sized for your query workload. Consider adjusting the warehouse size or concurrency settings if needed.
16. **Adjust Result Set Size Limits**:
- Modify the **`RESULT_CACHE_MAX_SIZE`** session parameter to control the size of the result set cache and help manage memory usage.
17. **Error Handling and Alerting**:
- Implement error handling and alerting mechanisms to notify users or administrators when a query result set size exceeds a certain threshold.

By implementing these optimization techniques and adjusting result set size settings, you can mitigate the "Query result set too large" error and ensure efficient processing of your queries in Snowflake.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023
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