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When using a record limit on a database query - the actual query being executed on the server depends very much on the connection type (Native SQL; OleDB; and ODBC). However, for all 3 of these, it seems that the record limit is being enacted on the client side, not on the server. What I mean by this is that when I take the exact queries that are being run by Alteryx on the server (by looking at a SQL Profile trace on the server), and run these in a query window, you can see that the row-limit is not occurring in SQL, but in Alteryx.
(to test this, I ran several queries with and without the record limit; profiled them using SQL profiler; and the profile trace was identical either way)
Aside from putting "Select top(100) from..." in all the queries that that we create, or using in-DB queries for every simple query - could we instead have an option to force the row limitation down to the server on a regular InputData tool, so that we can take advantage of the server's ability to optimize?