What is my best option to return the results of a query where the soql query by default returns too many rows (>50k)?

From my understanding, SELECT COUNT() still cannot return a result >50k, but my use case requires the result to show ~75k (and growing). Thoughts?

  • One option I'm thinking about is creating a new sObject that could do a roll-up summary that I could then query... Any better options out there? Jul 26, 2015 at 18:07
  • You can try @ReadOnly annotation option available if you requirement is not to do write operation.
    – San
    Jul 26, 2015 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


Have you tried using the @ReadOnly annotation on your code?

If you are using a scheduled job or calling the code from a Webservice or from a VisualForce page, you can use this annotation (as long as it's the top-level calling code - ie a VF page without the readOnly attribute set to true could not call a readonly WebService.

Using @ReadOnly allows you to perform virtually unlimited queries on the database with one, rather large caveat: No DML (and a few other restrictions)

Take a look at the docs here

Interestingly enough, there is a difference between the readOnly attribute of a VF page and the @ReadOnly annotation:

  • Using the readOnly attribute limits you to 1,000,000 records retrieved. There is probably a limit here to try to avoid heap size issues.
  • @ReadOnly is effectively unlimited.

EDIT I just performed a test to see if custom settings were affected by this restriction and I can report back that they are NOT affected!! This means that if you really really want to perform some DML, you could save your sObject in serialized form in a custom setting and use some other scheduled job to perform the modification.

This would work well if you are only modifying 1 or 2 objects, but would get pretty unweildy if you wanted to do more than that. Here is my test code to prove the webservice works:

global class ReadOnlyTestWS {
    webservice static void test(){
        Account[] accts = [SELECT Name, Id FROM Account];

        Test_ReadOnly__c tr = Test_ReadOnly__c.getInstance('Test');
        tr.Test__c = true;
        update tr;
  • Ugh, you had me really excited for a moment until I did a quick bit of research and learned it's not available to REST services... success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=08730000000kourAAA Jul 26, 2015 at 19:11
  • Any other ideas? Jul 26, 2015 at 19:11
  • 1
    It's not available as a REST service, but you can still call that webservice from outside of Salesforce - you can expose it using sites - here's a good example: developer.salesforce.com/page/… Jul 26, 2015 at 20:47
  • To avoid the need for a full re-write (until I can at least do some more research), I decided to use the /query/q= API provided by salesforce, which allows me to skirt the issue. SELECT COUNT() queries there can be well over 50k rows and perform very quickly. Jul 26, 2015 at 20:50
  • Sounds like a good solution - and I wasn't aware that there were higher limits there. Good to know. Jul 26, 2015 at 21:10

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