number of aux scan descriptors

number of aux scan descriptors sets the number of auxiliary scan descriptors available in a pool shared by all users on a server.

Summary Information

Default value


Range of values




Display level


Required role

System administrator

Configuration groups

Memory Use, SQL Server Administration

Each user connection and each worker process has 48 scan descriptors exclusively allocated to it. Of these, 16 are reserved for user tables, 12 are reserved for worktables, and 20 are reserved for system tables (with 4 of these set aside for rollback conditions). A descriptor is needed for each table referenced, directly or indirectly, by a query. For user tables, a table reference includes:

If a table is referenced more than once (for example, in a self-join, in more than one view, or in more than one subquery) the table is counted each time. If the query includes a union, each select statement in the union query is a separate scan. If a query runs in parallel, the coordinating process and each worker process needs a scan descriptor for each table reference.

When the number of user tables referenced by a query scan exceeds 16, or the number of worktables exceeds 12, scan descriptors from the shared pool are allocated. Data-only-locked tables also require a system table descriptor for each data-only-locked table accessed with a table scan (but not those accessed with an index scan). If more than 16 data-only-locked tables are scanned using table scans in a query, auxiliary scan descriptors are allocated for them.

If a scan needs auxiliary scan descriptors after it has used its allotted number, and there are no descriptors available in the shared pool, SAP ASE displays an error message and rolls back the user transaction.

If none of your queries need additional scan descriptors, you may still want to leave number of aux scan descriptors set to the default value in case your system requirements grow. Set it to 0 only if you are sure that users on your system will never run queries on more than 16 tables and that your tables will always have few or no referential integrity constraints.

If your queries need more scan descriptors, use one of these methods to remedy the problem:

The following sections describe how to use sp_monitorconfig to monitor the current and high-water-mark usage to avoid running out of descriptors, and how to estimate the number of scan descriptors you need.