Apex Governor Limits docs state that:

In a SOQL query with parent-child relationship subqueries, each parent-child relationship counts as an extra query.

However, when a query with a single subquery is run, for example:

List<Parent_Object__c> parents = [Select Id, (Select Id from Child_Objects__r) from Parent_Object__c];

the debug log shows that just 1 SOQL query was spent. That makes sense since subqueries are (left) joins.

It's the actual count, not just the count display because I can run 51 queries and limits won't be hit (if two queries would be counted and just one displayed, this would be 51 * 2 = 102 > 100 SOQLs).

So what's correct for total of N parents?

  • 1 extra query for each parent record (1 + N SOQLs in total)
  • 1 extra query for entire relationship (1 + 1 SOQLs in total)
  • no extra queries (1 SOQL in total, as indicated by debug log)

Let's take the following SOQL:

List<Account> dd = [
        (SELECT Name FROM Contacts),  // <- first subquery
        (SELECT AccountID FROM Cases) // <- second subquery
    IN (SELECT AccountID FROM Case)   // <- not counted

In the above query there are total 3 subqueries + 1 parent query. So, there are 4 queries. But, Salesforce doesn't count subqueries against governor limit of 100 SOQLs. It counts only root query which means only 1 SOQL query would be consumed.

Subqueries are counted separately as AggregateQueries. You can check those with Limits.getAggregateQueries() and Limits.getLimitAggregateQueries(). You cannot have more than 300 aggregations in a single transaction. This is stated just below the sentence you quoted:

In a SOQL query with parent-child relationship subqueries, each parent-child relationship counts as an extra query. These types of queries have a limit of three times the number for top-level queries

So your count would be:

N = Number of SOQL (root query)
A = Number of Aggregation

Safe Query Limit = N <= 100 && A <= 300
  • Thank you. Where is that documented and how does it fit with the Apex Governor Limits documentation that I linked? It seems that they contradict each other. – ipavlic Oct 14 '15 at 11:08
  • The getAggregateQueries() and getLimitAggregateQueries() are the correct answer here, but the discussion you wrote cannot be right. One can have 100 SOQLs with two subqueries, because that would amount to 100 SOQLs and 200 AggregateQueries, both below the treshold. This contradicts the Safe Query Limit = N*A < 101 WHEN A<3 calculation. Please edit your answer so that I can accept it. Thank you! – ipavlic Oct 14 '15 at 11:16
  • @ipavlic It is not documented clearly anywhere that SOQL and Aggregations are connected. Anyway I have corrected the statement. Please check if its fine. – Ashwani Oct 14 '15 at 11:35
  • 1
    I've edited your answer with the additional details. Thanks again. – ipavlic Oct 14 '15 at 11:50

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