Frequently asked questions

This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about Query Service and provides a list of commonly seen error codes when using Query Service. For questions and troubleshooting related to other services in Adobe Experience Platform, please refer to the Experience Platform troubleshooting guide.

The following list of answers to frequently asked questions is divided into the following categories:

General Query Service questions general

This section includes information on performance, limits, and processes.

Can I turn off the auto-complete feature in the Query Service Editor?

No. Turning off the auto-complete feature is not currently supported by the editor.

Why does the Query Editor sometimes become slow when I type in a query?

One potential cause is the auto-complete feature. The feature processes certain metadata commands that can occasionally slow the editor during query editing.

Can I use Postman for the Query Service API?

Yes, you can visualize and interact with all Adobe API services using Postman (a free, third-party application). Watch the Postman setup guide for step-by-step instructions on how to set up a project in Adobe Developer Console and acquire all the necessary credentials for use with Postman. See the official documentation for guidance on starting, running, and sharing Postman collections.

Is there a limit to the maximum number of rows returned from a query through the UI?

Yes, Query Service internally applies a limit of 50,000 rows unless an explicit limit is specified externally. See the guidance on interactive query execution for more details.

Can I use queries to update rows?

In batch queries, updating a row inside the dataset is not supported.

Is there a data size limit for the resulting output from a query?

No. There is no limit on data size, but there is a query timeout limit of 10 minutes from an interactive session. If the query is executed as a batch CTAS then a 10-minute timeout is not applicable. See the guidance on interactive query execution for more details.

How do I bypass the limit on the output number of rows from a SELECT query?


To bypass the output row limit, apply “LIMIT 0” in the query. For example:

code language-sql
SELECT * FROM customers LIMIT 0;

How do I stop my queries from timing out in 10 minutes?


One or more of the following solutions are recommended in case of queries timing out.

Is there any issue or impact on Query Service performance if multiple queries run simultaneously?

No. Query Service has an autoscaling capability that ensures concurrent queries do not have any noticeable impact on the performance of the service.

Can I use reserved keywords as a column name?

There are certain reserved keywords that cannot be used as column name such as, ORDER, GROUP BY, WHERE, DISTINCT. If you want to use these keywords, then you must escape these columns.

How do I find a column name from a hierarchical dataset?


The following steps describe how to display a tabular view of a dataset through the UI, including all nested fields and columns in a flattened form.

  • After logging into Experience Platform, select Datasets in the left navigation of the UI to navigate to Datasets dashboard.
  • The datasets Browse tab opens. You can use the search bar to refine the available options. Select a dataset from the list displayed.

The Datasets dashboard in the Platform UI with the search bar and a dataset highlighted.

  • The Datasets activity screen appears. Select Preview dataset to open a dialog of the XDM schema and tabular view of flattened data from the selected dataset. More details can be found in the preview a dataset documentation

The Dataset activity tab of the Datasets dashboard with Preview dataset highlighted.

  • Select any field from the schema to display its contents in a flattened column. The name of the column is displayed above its contents on the right side of the page. You should copy this name to use for querying this dataset.

The XDM schema and tabular view of the flattened data. The column name of a nested dataset is highlighted in the UI.

See the documentation for full guidance on how to work with nested data structures using the Query Editor or a third-party client.

How do I speed up a query on a dataset that contains arrays?

To improve the performance of queries on datasets containing arrays, you should explode the array as a CTAS query on runtime, and then explore it for further for opportunities to improve its processing time.

Why is my CTAS query still processing after many hours for only a small number of rows?


If the query has taken a long time on a very small dataset, please contact customer support.

There can be any number of reasons for a query to be stuck while processing. To determine the exact cause requires an in-depth analysis on a case-by-case basis. Contact Adobe customer support to being this process.

How do I contact Adobe customer support? customer-support


A complete list of Adobe customer support telephone numbers is available on the Adobe help page. Alternatively, help can be found online by completing the following steps:

  • Navigate to in your web browser.
  • On the right side of the top navigation bar, select Sign In.

The Adobe website with Sign in highlighted.

  • Use your Adobe ID and password that is registered with your Adobe license.
  • Select Help & Support from the top navigation bar.

The top navigation bar dropdown menu with Help and support, Enterprise support and Contact us highlighted.

A dropdown banner appears containing a Help and support section. Select Contact us to open the Adobe Customer Care Virtual Assistant, or select Enterprise support for dedicated help for large organizations.

How do I implement a sequential series of jobs, without executing subsequent jobs if the previous job does not complete successfully?


The anonymous block feature allows you to chain one or more SQL statements that are executed in sequence. They also allow for the option of exception-handling.

See the anonymous block documentation for more details.

How do I implement custom attribution in Query Service?


There are two ways to implement custom attribution:

  1. Use a combination of existing Adobe-defined functions to identify if the use-case needs are met.
  2. If the previous suggestion does not satisfy your use case, you should use a combination of window functions. Window functions look at all the events in a sequence. They also allow you to review the historic data and can be used in any combination.

Can I templatize my queries so that I can easily re-use them?

Yes, you can templatize queries through the use of prepared statements. Prepared statements can optimize performance and avoid repetitiously re-parsing a query. See the prepared statements documentation for more details.

How do I retrieve error logs for a query? error-logs


To retrieve error logs for a specific query, you must first use the Query Service API to fetch the query log details. The HTTP response contains the query IDs that are required to investigate a query error.

Use the GET command to retrieve multiple queries. Information on how to make a call to the API can be found in the sample API calls documentation.

From the response, identify the query you want to investigate and make another GET request using its id value. Full instructions can be found in the retrieve a query by ID documentation.

A successful response returns HTTP status 200 and contains the errors array. The response has been shortened for brevity.

code language-json
    "isInsertInto": false,
    "request": {
                "dbName": "prod:all",
                "sql": "SELECT *\nFROM\n  accounts\nLIMIT 10\n"
    "clientId": "8c2455819a624534bb665c43c3759877",
    "state": "SUCCESS",
    "rowCount": 0,
    "errors": [{
      'code': '58000',
      'message': 'Batch query execution gets : [failed reason ErrorCode: 58000 Batch query execution gets : [Analysis error encountered. Reason: [sessionId: f055dc73-1fbd-4c9c-8645-efa609da0a7b Function [varchar] not defined.]]]',
      'errorType': 'USER_ERROR'
    "isCTAS": false,
    "version": 1,
    "id": "343388b0-e0dd-4227-a75b-7fc945ef408a",

The Query Service API reference documentation provides more information on all available endpoints.

What does “Error validating schema” mean?


The “Error validating schema” message means that the system is unable to locate a field within the schema. You should read the best practice document for organizing data assets in Query Service followed by the Create Table As Select documentation.

The following example demonstrates the use of a CTAS syntax and a struct datatype:

code language-sql
CREATE TABLE table_name WITH (SCHEMA='schema_name')

AS SELECT '1' as _id,


  ('2021-02-17T15:39:29.0Z' AS taskActualCompletionDate,

    '2020-09-09T21:21:16.0Z' AS taskActualStartDate,

    'Consulting' AS taskdescription,

    '5f6527c10011e09b89666c52d9a8c564' AS taskguide,

    'Stakeholder Consulting Engagement' AS taskname,

    '2020-09-09T15:00:00.0Z' AS taskPlannedStartDate,

    '2021-02-15T11:00:00.0Z' AS taskPlannedCompletionDate

  ) AS _workfront ;

How do I quickly process the new data coming into the system every day?

The SNAPSHOT clause can be used to incrementally read data on a table based on a snapshot ID. This is ideal for use with the incremental load design pattern that only processes information in the dataset that has been created or modified since the last load execution. As a result, it increases processing efficiency and can be used with both streaming and batch data processing.

Why is there a difference between the numbers shown in Profile UI and the numbers calculated from the profile export dataset?


The numbers displayed in the profile dashboard are accurate as of the last snapshot. The numbers generated in the profile export table are dependent entirely on the export query. As a result, querying the number of profiles that qualify for a particular audience is a common cause for this discrepancy.

note note
Querying includes historical data, whereas UI only displays the current profile data.

Why did my query return an empty subset, and what should I do?


The most likely cause is that your query is too narrow in scope. You should systematically remove a section of the WHERE clause until you begin seeing some data.

You can also confirm that your dataset contains data by using a small query such as:

code language-sql
SELECT count(1) FROM myTableName

Can I sample my data?

This feature is currently a work-in-progress. Details will be made available in release notes and through Platform UI dialogs once the feature is ready for release.

What helper functions are supported by Query Service?

Query Service provides several built-in SQL helper functions to extend SQL functionality. See the document for a complete list of the SQL functions supported by Query Service.

Are all native Spark SQL functions supported or are users restricted to only the wrapper Spark SQL functions provided by Adobe?

As yet, not all open-source Spark SQL functions have been tested on data lake data. Once tested and confirmed, they will be added to the supported list. Please refer the list of supported Spark SQL functions to check for a specific function.

Can users define their own user defined functions (UDF) that can be used across other queries?

Due to data security considerations, the custom definition of UDFs is not allowed.

What should I do if my scheduled query fails?


First, check the logs to find out the details of the error. The FAQ section on finding errors within logs provides more information on how to do this.

You should also check the documentation for guidance on how to perform scheduled queries in the UI and through the API.

Be aware, when using the Query Editor you can only add a schedule to a query that has already been created, and saved. This does not apply to the Query Service API.

What does the “Session Limit Reached” error mean?

“Session Limit Reached” means that the maximum number of Query Service sessions allowed for your organization has been reached. Please connect with your organization’s Adobe Experience Platform administrator.

How does the query log handle queries relating to a deleted dataset?

Query Service never deletes query history. This means that any queries referencing a deleted dataset would return “No valid dataset” as a result.

How can I get only the metadata for a query?


You can run a query that returns zero rows to get only the metadata in response. This example query returns only the metadata for the specified table.

code language-sql
SELECT * FROM <table> WHERE 1=0

How can I quickly iterate on a CTAS (Create Table As Select) query without materializing it?


You can create temporary tables to quickly iterate and experiment on a query before materializing it for use. You can also use temporary tables to validate if a query is functional.

For example, you can create a temporary table:

code language-sql
CREATE temp TABLE temp_dataset AS
FROM actual_dataset
WHERE 1 = 0;

Then you can use the temporary table as follows:

code language-sql
INSERT INTO temp_dataset
SELECT a._company AS _company,
a._id AS _id,
a.timestamp AS timestamp
FROM actual_dataset a
WHERE timestamp >= TO_TIMESTAMP('2021-01-21 12:00:00')
AND timestamp < TO_TIMESTAMP('2021-01-21 13:00:00')
LIMIT 100;

How do I change the time zone to and from a UTC Timestamp?


Adobe Experience Platform persists data in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) timestamp format. An example of the UTC format is 2021-12-22T19:52:05Z

Query Service supports built-in SQL functions to convert a given timestamp to and from UTC format. Both the to_utc_timestamp() and the from_utc_timestamp() methods take two parameters: timestamp and timezone.

table 0-row-2 1-row-2 2-row-2
Parameter Description
Timestamp The timestamp can be written in either UTC format or simple {year-month-day} format. If no time is provided, the default value is midnight on the morning of the given day.
Timezone The timezone is written in a {continent/city}) format. It must be one of the recognized timezone codes as found in the public-domain TZ database.

Convert to the UTC timestamp

The to_utc_timestamp() method interprets the given parameters and converts it to the timestamp of your local timezone in UTC format. For example, the time zone in Seoul, South Korea is UTC/GMT +9 hours. By providing a date-only timestamp, the method uses a default value of midnight in the morning. The timestamp and timezone are converted into the UTC format from the time of that region to a UTC timestamp of your local region.

code language-sql
SELECT to_utc_timestamp('2021-08-31', 'Asia/Seoul');

The query returns a timestamp in the user’s local time. In this case, 3PM the previous day as Seoul is nine hours ahead.

code language-none
2021-08-30 15:00:00

As another example, if the given timestamp was 2021-07-14 12:40:00.0 for the Asia/Seoul timezone, the returned UTC timestamp would be 2021-07-14 03:40:00.0

The console output provided in the Query Service UI is a more human-readable format:

code language-none
8/30/2021, 3:00 PM

Convert from the UTC timestamp

The from_utc_timestamp() method interprets the given parameters from the timestamp of your local timezone and provides the equivalent timestamp of the desired region in UTC format. In the example below, the hour is 2:40PM in the user’s local timezone. The Seoul timezone passed as a variable is nine hours ahead of the local timezone.

code language-sql
SELECT from_utc_timestamp('2021-08-31 14:40:00.0', 'Asia/Seoul');

The query returns a timestamp in UTC format for the timezone passed as a parameter. The result is nine hours ahead of the timezone that ran the query.

code language-none
8/31/2021, 11:40 PM

How should I filter my time-series data?


When querying with time-series data, you should use the timestamp filter whenever possible for more accurate analysis.

note note
The date string must be in the format yyyy-mm-ddTHH24:MM:SS.

An example of using the timestamp filter can be seen below:

code language-sql
SELECT a._company  AS _company,
       a._id       AS _id,
       a.timestamp AS timestamp
FROM   dataset a
WHERE  timestamp >= To_timestamp('2021-01-21 12:00:00')
       AND timestamp < To_timestamp('2021-01-21 13:00:00')

How do I correctly use the CAST operator to convert my timestamps in SQL queries?


When using the CAST operator to convert a timestamp, you need to include both the date and time.

For example, missing the time component, as shown below, will result in an error:

code language-sql
WHERE timestamp = CAST('07-29-2021' AS timestamp)

The correct usage of the CAST operator is shown below:

code language-sql
WHERE timestamp = CAST('07-29-2021 00:00:00' AS timestamp)

Should I use wildcards, such as * to get all the rows from my datasets?

You cannot use wildcards to get all the data from your rows, as Query Service should be treated as a columnar-store rather than a traditional row-based store system.

Should I use NOT IN in my SQL query?


The NOT IN operator is often used to retrieve rows that are not found in another table or SQL statement. This operator can slow down performance and may return unexpected results if the columns that are being compared accept NOT NULL, or you have large numbers of records.

Instead of using NOT IN, you can use either NOT EXISTS or LEFT OUTER JOIN.

For example, if you have the following tables created:

code language-sql

If you are using the NOT EXISTS operator, you can replicate using the NOT IN operator by using the following query:

code language-sql

Alternatively, if you are using the LEFT OUTER JOIN operator, you can replicate using the NOT IN operator by using the following query:

code language-sql

Can I create a dataset using a CTAS query with a double underscore name like those displayed in the UI? For example: test_table_001.

No, this is an intentional limitation across Experience Platform that applies to all Adobe services, including Query Service. A name with two underscores is acceptable as a schema and dataset name, but the table name for the dataset can only contain a single underscore.

How many concurrent queries can you run at a time?

There is no query concurrency limit as batch queries run as back-end jobs. There is, however, a query timeout limit set to 24 hours.

Is there an activity dashboard where you can see query activities and status?

There are monitoring and alerting capabilities to check on query activities and statuses. See the Query Service audit log integration and the query logs documents for more information.

Is there any way to roll back updates? For example, if there is an error or some calculations need reconfiguring when writing data back to Platform, how should that scenario be handled?

Currently, we do not support rollbacks or updates in that manner.

How can you optimize queries in Adobe Experience Platform?


The system does not have indexes as it is not a database but it does have other optimizations in place tied to the data store. The following options are available to tune your queries:

  • A time-based filter on timeseries data.
  • Optimized push down for the struct data type.
  • Optimized cost and memory push-down for arrays and map data types.
  • Incremental processing using snapshots.
  • A persisted data format.

Can logins be restricted to certain aspects of Query Service or is it an “all or nothing” solution?

Query Service is an “all or nothing” solution. Partial access cannot be provided.

Can I restrict what data Query Service can use, or does it simply access the entire Adobe Experience Platform data lake?

Yes, you can restrict querying to datasets with read-only access.

What other options are there for restricting the data that Query Service can access?


There are three approaches to restricting access. They are as follows:

  • Use SELECT only statements and give datasets read only access. Also, assign the manage query permission.
  • Use SELECT/INSERT/CREATE statements and give datasets write access. Also, assign the query manage permission.
  • Use an integration account with the previous suggestions above and assign the query integration permission.

Once the data is returned by Query Service, are there any checks that can be run by Platform to ensure that it hasn’t returned any protected data?

  • Query Service supports attribute-based access control. You can restrict access to data at the column/leaf level and/or the struct level. See the documentation to learn more about attribute-based access control.

Can I specify an SSL mode for the connection to a third-party client? For example, can I use use ‘verify-full’ with Power BI?

Yes, SSL modes are supported. See the SSL modes documentation for a breakdown of the different SSL modes available and the level of protection they provide.

Do we use TLS 1.2 for all connections from Power BI clients to query service?

Yes. Data-in-transit is always HTTPS compliant. The currently supported version is TLS1.2.

Does a connection made on port 80 still use https?

Yes, a connection made on port 80 still uses SSL. You can also use port 5432.

Can I control access to specific datasets and columns for a particular connection? How is this configured?

Yes, attribute-based access control is enforced if configured. See the attribute-based access control overview for more information.

Does Query Service support the “INSERT OVERWRITE INTO” command?

No, Query Service does not support the “INSERT OVERWRITE INTO” command.

How frequently is the usage data on the license usage dashboard updated for Data Distiller compute hours?

The license usage dashboard for Data Distiller computer hours is updated four times a day, every six hours.

Can I use the CREATE VIEW command without Data Distiller access?

Yes, you can use CREATE VIEW command without Data Distiller access. This command provides a logical view of data but does not write it back to the data lake.

Can I use anonymous blocks in DbVisualizer?

Yes. Although, certain third-party clients, such as DbVisualizer, may require a separate identifier before and after an SQL block to indicate that a part of a script should be handled as a single statement. More details can be found in the anonymous block documentation or in the official DbVisualizer documentation.

Exporting data exporting-data

This section provides information on exporting data and limits.

Is there a way to extract data from Query Service after query processing and save the results in a CSV file? export-csv


Yes. Data can be extracted from Query Service and there is also the option to store the results in CSV format via a SQL command.

There are two ways to save the results of a query when using a PSQL client. You can use the COPY TO command or create a statement using the following format:

code language-sql
SELECT column1, column2
FROM <table_name>
\g <table_name>.out

Guidance on the use of the COPY TO command can be fond in the SQL syntax reference documentation.

Can I extract the content of the final dataset that has been ingested through CTAS queries (assuming these are larger quantities of data such as Terabytes)?

No. There is currently no feature available for the extraction of ingested data.

Why is the Analytics data connector not returning data?


A common cause for this problem is querying time-series data without a time filter. For example:

code language-sql
SELECT * FROM prod_table LIMIT 1;

Should be written as:

code language-sql
SELECT * FROM prod_table
timestamp >= to_timestamp('2022-07-22')
and timestamp < to_timestamp('2022-07-23');

Third-party tools third-party-tools

This section includes information on the use of third-party tools such as PSQL and Power BI.

Can I connect Query Service to a third-party tool?

Yes, you can connect multiple third-party desktop clients to Query Service. See the documentation for full details about the available clients and how to connect them to Query service.

Is there a way to connect Query Service once for continuous use with a third-party tool?

Yes, third-party desktop clients can be connected to Query Service through a one-time setup of non-expiring credentials. Non-expiring credentials can be generated by an authorized user and received in a JSON file that is automatically downloaded to their local machine. Full guidance on how to create and download non-expiring credentials can be found in the documentation.

Why are my non-expiring credentials are not working?

The value for non-expiring credentials are the concatenated arguments from the technicalAccountID and the credential taken from the configuration JSON file. The password value takes the form: {{technicalAccountId}:{credential}}.
See the documentation for more information on how to connect to external clients with credentials.

What kind of third-party SQL editors can I connect to Query Service Editor?

Any third-party SQL editor that is PSQL or Postgres client compliant can be connected to the Query Service Editor. See the documentation for connecting clients to Query Service for a list of available instructions.

Can I connect the Power BI tool to Query Service?

Yes, you can connect Power BI to Query Service. See the documentation for instructions on connecting the Power BI desktop app to Query Service.

Why do the dashboards take a long time to load when connected to Query Service?


When the system is connected to Query Service, it is connected to an interactive or batch processing engine. This can result in longer loading times to reflect the processed data.

If you would like to improve the response times for your dashboards, you should implement a Business Intelligence (BI) server as a caching layer between Query Service and BI tools. Generally, most BI tools have an additional offering for a server.

The purpose of adding the cache server layer is to cache the data from Query Service and utilize the same for dashboards to speed up the response. This is possible as the results for queries that are executed would be cached in the BI server each day. The caching server then serves these results for any user with the same query to decrease latency. Please refer to the documentation of the utility or third-party tool that you are using for clarification on this setup.

Is it possible to access Query Service using the pgAdmin connection tool?

No, pgAdmin connectivity is not supported. A list of available third-party clients and instructions on how to connect them to Query Service can be found in the documentation.

PostgreSQL API errors postgresql-api-errors

The following table provides PSQL error codes and their possible causes.

Error code
Connection state
Possible cause
Unsupported message type
Unsupported message type
Start-up - authentication
Invalid password
Invalid authentication token
Start-up - authentication
Invalid authorization type
Invalid authorization type. Must be AuthenticationCleartextPassword.
Start-up - authentication
No tables found
No tables found for use
Syntax error
Invalid command or syntax error
Table not found
Table specified in the query was not found
Table exists
A table with the same name already exists (CREATE TABLE)
LIMIT exceeds max value
User specified a LIMIT clause higher than 100,000
Statement timeout
The live statement submitted took more than the maximum of 10 minutes
System error
Internal system failure
Not supported
The feature/functionality in the query/command is not supported
Dropping table not created by Query Service
The table that is being dropped was not created by Query Service using the CREATE TABLE statement
Table not created by the authenticated user
The table that is being dropped was not created by the currently logged in user
Table not found
The table specified in the query was not found
No table found for dbName: please check the dbName
No tables were found in the current database

Why did I receive a 58000 error code when using the history_meta() method on my table?


The history_meta() method is used to access a snapshot from a dataset. Previously, if you were to run a query on an empty dataset in Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS), you would receive a 58000 error code saying that the data set does not exist. An example of the old system error is displayed below.

code language-shell
ErrorCode: 58000 Internal System Error [Invalid table your_table_name. historyMeta can be used on datalake tables only.]

This error occurred because there was no return value for the query. This behavior has now been fixed to return the following message:

code language-text
Query complete in {timeframe}. 0 rows returned.

REST API errors rest-api-errors

The following table provides HTTP error codes and their possible causes.

HTTP status code
Possible causes
Bad request
Malformed or illegal query
Authentication failed
Invalid auth token
Internal server error
Internal system failure