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There are precious few golden rules in Business Intelligence. Too often when asked a question, I am forced to respond with a firm "It depends." There are many issues/tips items out there which are best practices - SQL Server Page Compression, avoiding fully blocking task flow transformations, using the NOLOCK in source queries, etc.
It looks like there will be another to add to the list. Rob Farley has posted an interesing blog post involving the use of the query hint OPTION (FAST number_rows). The effect of this hint is to get data into the data flow task pipeline much more quickly. This is a gross oversimplification- please read the entire article here. My initial impression and quick test yielded good results.
(It should be noted that query hints will override the SQL optimizer which is supposed to produce the best query. So, always test before and after!)
OK, now that I have dispensed with the standard warning. I think we may have another item to add to the list of "Dos". Thanks to Rob Farley for this cool tip.
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