A bit of background. We developed an app that uses merge replication. Right now, we are currently publishing about 212 articles, and everything is fine, as it appears to fall into the 256 article count limit. (Using SQL Standard 2005 at the server, and 2005 Express at the subscriber level.)

We are in the process of developing a new version, with a new database built from the ground up, which will have a minimum system requirement of SQL 2008 R2 Standard server side and Express 2008 R2 at the client end, which also appears to have the same 256 count limit on published articles. (yes, we will also support 2012, it's limits are the same though)

The question comes in where we have successfully test published out over 400 articles in the new version, and everything tests functionally (pub creation, snapshot and subscriber creation, and replication itself). Has anyone else exceeded the count limit before, and is this just a soft recommended limit? We have not seen any errors, either during publication creation, or subscriber creation.

According to this article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143432%28v=sql.105%29

I'm waiting on a call back from Microsoft, but I'd like to know if anyone has seen this before, in any ver of SQL.

  • One of our projects started with merge replication on our entire database of ~675 tables. The publication and subscriptions appeared to work, but we didn't get as far as testing (we switched to Peer-to-Peer). It's possible the documentation is incorrect.
    – Jon Seigel
    Sep 24, 2012 at 16:57
  • Did you get any word back from MS on this? I have a question about this too. dba.stackexchange.com/questions/26930/… to me it seems to be because of a bug from the past, and it doesn't appear to be an actual limit anymore, but I want to be sure before recommending this be done in production.
    – peter
    Oct 15, 2012 at 3:18
  • Starting from SQL Server 2016, Articles limit is now: 2048, Source: learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/sql-server/… Oct 6, 2018 at 9:58

3 Answers 3


I have now Merge replication setup with 666 Table Articles in production, and I didn't get any warning or errors regarding articles limit.

Update: Starting from SQL Server 2016, Articles limit is now: 2048



I hitted in past with SQLServer 2008 (not R2). Microsoft said: It's an hard limit. There is no way to overcome it.

  • I would think that if it was a hard limit, it would have failed for us at 400 articles.
    – DanBig
    May 21, 2013 at 16:03

From what I have gathered the 256 limit is a hard limit for "supported configurations", once you go over 256 some features may fail to work.

For example I have a database with 629 merge articles and it works fine, but if I add a filtered article to it it will blow up with a error similar to this error "Message: Too many table names in the query. The maximum allowable is 256." when you try to build the snapshot.

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