This article was previously published under Q264646
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
BUG #: 57952 (SQLBUG_70) BUG #: 58284 (SQLBUG_70)
If a merge publication has a large number of join filters defined, the snapshot agent might fail with error message 4408:
Server: Msg 4408, Level 16, State 1, Line 1 The query and the views in it exceed the limit of 256 tables. The process could not bulk copy out of table 'contF7F0485907F24599A5C928BDC615BBBF'.
A similar error message might occur when a merge publication contains a large number of row filters. For more information about this problem see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
261216 FIX: Snapshot Agent for a Merge Publication Might Fail with Error Message 4408 or 50007
Based on the existing table dependencies among articles, SQL Server can automatically extend one row filter on a parent article to join filters on all the child articles. This behavior can lead to a complex execution plan with Nested Loops when generating the bcp file for the MSmerge_contents table. If there are more than 256 tables involved in this query, the error occurs.
Keep the number of base tables involved with filters under 256. Work around the problem by splitting publications or simplifying joins.
Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in SQL Server 7.0. This problem has been corrected in U.S. Service Pack 3 for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
274799 INF: How to Obtain Service Pack 3 for Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 and Microsoft Data Engine (MSDE) 1.0
For more information, contact your primary support provider.