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Need to set Record Limit to -1 to avoid bringing in records

Alteryx Partner


I've worked with computers long enough to realize that when something looks weird to the average users there is often a "reasonable" explanation (I'm looking at you 0 based indexes).


On an Input Data tool (Excel) it would seem reasonable to assume that setting a record limit of 0 would bring in no records, instead it brings them all in.


You need to set the limit to -1 to just bring in the metadata. (which the help doesn't mention, found it in a Tips and Tricks)


Who's got a good reason/story?




P.S. If you don't happen to know the real reason I'd also be impressed by the most creative reason.


Alteryx Certified Partner
Alteryx Certified Partner
The reason is that 0 equals ALL. In the Stone Age, when you wanted to limit data you used 0 to indicate that you want all records.

-1 seems logical to me
Alteryx ACE & Top Community Contributor

Chaos reigns within. Repent, reflect and reboot. Order shall return.
Alteryx Partner

I thought I was up on my stone age knowledge, but I must have been out hunting and gathering that day of school. I'll have to go back and take a look at my old SNOBOL code.