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BUG #: 55031 (SQLBUG_70)
When executing two SELECT statements, joined by a UNION clause, you may get error 8618:
The query processor could not produce a query plan from the optimizer because the total length of all the columns in the GROUP BY clause exceeds 8000 bytes.
Avoid the use of the UNION clause by following these steps:
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in SQL Server 7.0. This problem has been corrected in U.S. Service Pack 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
254561For more information, contact your primary support provider.
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/254561/ )INF: How to Obtain Service Pack 2 for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 1.0
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