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I have a query activity in which the SQL validates, but it doesn't populate the target data extension. I created another query activity with a simpler query that does populate the extension. I also modified the first query activity using a TOP N clause. This works. Before I go through a binary search of the records to find the offending row (by iteratively changing N in the TOP N clause and re-running the QA), is there a log or other repository in which I can see the actual error causing the QA to fail?

The amount of data concerned is very small ~ 250 records at this point. I'd be very surprised if it was a timeout. After some fiddling, it appears that it works if the QA is set to Overwrite, but not if it's set to Update. The target Data Extension has a primary key and the field from which it's populated contains unique values.

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You wouldn't have any access to the specific error reason but the SFMC Support Team would be able to pull this information for you.

If you are seeing it is successful when using "TOP X" clause but it fails all other times, it could very well be timing out. There is a 30 minute timeout on all query activities that may be getting hit on your query. I always recommend placing the Query Activity in an Automation/Program so you can be notified when it completes/errors. If it fails after 30 mins, then this is a safe assumption on the timeout cause.

  • Normally it's either a timeout (as suggested), truncation (trying to insert a 50 char string into a 20 char field), or primary key violation. Also, certain SFMC Partners have access to the Error Log in 3Sixty. – Adam Spriggs Apr 1 '15 at 18:45
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In 3rd quarter of 2016, automation studio was updated to reports "some" query errors in the user interface.

Now, when you hover over a failed step in the activity tab, more details will appear. Key violation errors are reported back this way. I have not confirmed if truncation error are reported by this way.

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