I have selected a single polygon, which is large but not massively complex, from an ArcSDE 9.3 for Oracle feature class with 3.5 million polygons using ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 SP3.
I would simply like to copy it out via arcpy into a new shapefile (or file geodatabase feature class) and to do so in less than 10 seconds.
So far I have not been able to get it to happen in less than about 5-6 mins.
I think I need to try and take advantage of the processing environment (arcpy.env.extent) during the CopyFeatures but if I set that to the values returned by getSelectedExtent and do the copy the time taken still seems to be 5-6 mins.
If instead I could get at a centroid x,y (and one that is guaranteed to fall inside the polygon) then I could use that to buffer a tiny amount and use that to set arcpy.env.extent and I would expect the time to come down to around 10 seconds.
However, to get at the centroid I think I still need to use CopyFeatures to get it out into a geometry first which seems Catch 22.
(FYI The 10 second target comes from a different question based on the same dataset)