Often, when importing schema definitions into PowerCenter, string fields are imported with "infinite" length. This is simply a convenience when the maximum size of the field is not known in advance.
"Infinite" length strings are given a physical length in PowerCenter of 898989 characters.
In most cases, having many fields this size does not cause errors, because the maximum row size that PowerCenter can process is 100MB. But some transformations have restrictions on their maximum row size. The Sorter can handle a maximum row size of 8MB, which is a significantly smaller than the maximum row size of PowerCenter in general.
Sorters are used in Data Validation Option mappings to sort data before Joins. This is a best practice when using PowerCenter as Joiners process sorted inputs almost an order of magnitude more efficiently than Joiners with unsorted data.
If an XML definition has multiple "infinite" string fields, the following error may appear in the session log when a Data Validation Option job fails:
>SORT_40414 : Error: Total row size  in transformation [NAME_6] is more than the allowed maximum .
This error is typically caused by "infinite" length strings in the PowerCenter source or target definition.
To resolve the problem, update the PowerCenter XML definition that is causing the error, and replace "infinite" field lengths of 898989 with field lengths based on the size of the actual data.