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Report Cell Level Guardrails

Report Guardrails Post Q4 2019

After the b1911 release 2019, we are introducing new Reporting Guardrails to replace the current guardrails that are in place on the column limit being used in Reporting.

Guardrails in the form of optimal limits on the maximum number of cells a report can output, are being applied to the reporting tools in a phased manner during Q4 2019.

The benefits in doing so are that you can now query the same columns in the report but only need to break down the report by an org unit, for example.

Data-intensive reports have an adverse effect on system performance. As an initiative to optimise the use of reporting tools, the data-intensive Report – Table (formerly known as Ad hoc Reporting) and Report – Custom (formerly known as BIRT) reports are being scanned for their cell count.

These guardrails will be rolled out in a phased manner over the course of Q4 on both Preview and Production.

These guardrails surface user-friendly messages to assist managing report execution load and to avoid time-outs.

The intent of this initiative is to help you use the reporting tools optimally, and build reports that cater to your business needs without disrupting the system performance. The guardrails initiative is planned over different phases and we want to ensure that there is minimal disruption to your day-to-day business while rolling out these changes:

Instance Type & Report Guardrail (Levels 1-3)


Guardrail Experience & Considerations
Learn More 

Preview Instances – Identification

November 30, 2019 

What’s Happening?
Beginning November 30, administrators can evaluate data-intensive reports within Preview instances. There are no Report Guardrail impacts during the Identification phase.Next Steps
Beginning November 30, an administrator utilising Report Center, which has been universally applied to all Preview instances, will be able to either:

  • View All Scheduled Reports
    Search all scheduled reports, at a company level, to identify if any data-intensive reports will be impacted. Access via Report Center > View Schedules > All Schedules. If an administrator cannot view the ‘All Schedules’ page, please review these permissions.
  • User-Specific Reports
    An administrator will be able to view the reports which they have individually run via the enhanced My Jobs page.

Guidance (Report Center)

281326_Portfolio_R_blue (1).png

Production Instances – Identification

December 21, 2019

What’s Happening?
Beginning December 21, administrators can evaluate data-intensive reports within Production instances. Report Guardrails (Level 1-3) will not be applied during the Identification phase.Next Steps

On December 21, please navigate to Report Center > View Schedules > All Schedules. If an administrator cannot view the ‘All Schedules’ page, please review these permissions.If your company hasn’t yet upgraded to Report Center, administrators will only be able to view the reports which they scheduled individually.

To activate Report Center, please follow these activation instructions. After activation, please configure your Report Center administrator permissions.

Guidance (Report Center)

281326_Portfolio_R_blue (1).png


Preview & Test Instances – 
Level 1 GuardrailDecember 21, 2019
What’s Happening
Level 1 Report Guardrail will be applied to Preview reports which contain over one million cells. There are no immediate timelines for this, or other, Report Guardrails to be applied to Production reports.Next Steps

  1. Identify and, if applicable, modify and reschedule data-intensive Preview reports by December 21
  2. If modifications are not made by December 21, data-intensive Preview reports will be scheduled offline — meaning system resources will first be considered prior to processing.

Preview & Production – Additional Report Guardrails


Additional Report Guardrails to either Preview and Production instances will be communicated with advanced notice. We understand how important reports, particularly Production reports, are to your company’s key stakeholders. As such, in the spirit of continuous improvement, we will will incorporate lessons learned and customer feedback to future phases.

Data-intensive reports are identified, and you are notified about such reports through UI messages and emails with suggestion about corrective measures that you can adopt.

It is vitality important that you and your reporting team make the necessary alterations to your reports so that they do not exceed the Cell-Level Guardrail limitation once the Restriction Phase is put into place.

For example, if you have a report that is intended to pull data for all employees, which reaches the limit, please try and filter the report by Country.

Current Scope of Cell Level Guardrails:

The cell level guardrail should be applicable to

  1. Non BIRT Ad Hoc (Report – Table) reports
  2. BIRT Ad Hoc (Report – Table) reports
  3. Scheduled Ad Hoc Reports (S2 Jobs)

Currently Not in Scope

  1. SFAPI – (Enable for new customers/Customers not reaching 5 mil limit)
  2. Advanced Reports
  3. ORD – LMS Reports
  4. YouCalc Homepage
  5. All other classic reports

Report Execution Thresholds

Execution Type 
Limit System Behaviour
Online 1 million The maximum number of cells a report in online execution can retrieve should be less than 1 million. On hitting the threshold, report generation will fail, and an error message should display on the screen.
Offline (during normal business /peak hours) 2.5 million

While a report is executed offline, the maximum number of cells it can retrieve should be less than 2.5 million cells. On hitting the threshold, report generation fails. Users will be informed about the reason via email and as well as view schedules.

The expected action from customer are;

1.       Alter report definition to have less than 2.5 million cells and schedule report generation again
2.       Schedule the report to run off-peak hours. Scheduling screen to enhanced to accommodate this feature

Offline (off-peak hours)

Optimal Limit (5 million)


The maximum number of cells can retrieve should be less than 5 million (optimal limit). On hitting the threshold, report generation fails.

Users will be informed about the failure reason via email and as well as view schedules.

Next Steps

  • Understand Data-Intensive Report Guardrail Levels
    Review the information above to learn about the varying guardrail levels and qualifiers, how these policies will be gradually applied in a phased approach, review effective dates, and more.
  • Determine if Your Company Will Need to Modify Data-Intensive Reports
    When available on November 30, using Report Center, please review either the All Schedules or My Jobs page to identify if any reports will require modification. If Report Center is not activated, please navigate to the Scheduled Jobs page. Step-by-step guidance will be provided in the coming weeks detailing how to identify data-intensive reports using either Report Center or Classic Reporting.
  • Steps to Consider If Data-Intensive Reports Are Identified
    If a data-intensive report is identified, the first step is to determine whether the report is still needed to fulfil an active business need. If not, simply disable the report.

    • If a report is needed, please:
      • apply filters to analyse only critical details
      • Configure data-intensive report into multiple jobs which display a subset of data which can be later combined offline.
    • We recommend including reports which are nearing Report Guardrail cell limitations, i.e. 980,000 cells, to avoid future disruption if data scope increases.


Jack Noone

Reporting & Analytics Nexus EMEA

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