Understand Compilation Errors and Warnings A Guide to SHOW ERRORS and dba_errors in Oracle Database

Struggling with compilation errors and warnings in Oracle Database?

For those working with Oracle Database, ensuring code compiles smoothly is paramount. Compilation errors can derail stored procedures, functions, packages, and triggers, leading to unexpected behavior. This guide equips you with the knowledge to effectively identify and understand compilation errors and warnings using the SHOW ERRORS statement and dba_errors view in Oracle Database.

Understanding Compilation Errors and Warnings

Compilation translates human-readable code (like PL/SQL) into instructions the database can execute. During this process, the compiler scans for syntax errors (incorrect grammar), semantic errors (logical inconsistencies), and potential issues that might affect code execution.

  • Errors: These are severe roadblocks that prevent the code from compiling successfully. They typically indicate incorrect syntax, missing elements, or logical inconsistencies that make code execution impossible.
  • Warnings: These are potential problems that the compiler identifies but may not necessarily halt compilation. Warnings often highlight areas where code could be improved for efficiency, clarity, or adherence to best practices.

Addressing both errors and warnings is crucial for maintaining robust and efficient Oracle Database code.

Your Toolkit for Unveiling Compilation Issues

Oracle Database offers two primary methods to display compilation errors and warnings:

  1. SHOW ERRORS Statement: This built-in statement provides a detailed list of errors and warnings encountered during the last compilation attempt.

  2. dba_errors View: This built-in view stores information about all compilation errors and warnings for the current session or schema.

Let's delve into how to leverage these tools effectively.


The SHOW ERRORS statement displays errors and warnings associated with the most recent compilation operation executed within the current session. Its syntax is straightforward:


This statement returns output structured as follows:

Errors for LINE xx of procedure <procedure_name> Statement: ORA-XXXX:

(similar entries for additional errors/warnings)

  • LINE xx: Indicates the line number in the code where the error or warning occurred.
  • procedure_name: (Optional) If applicable, specifies the name of the stored procedure or function where the error/warning was raised.
  • Statement: Displays the specific SQL statement causing the issue.
  • ORA-XXXX: Represents the error or warning code, often accompanied by a descriptive message.

Key Points about SHOW ERRORS:

  • It displays information only for the last compilation operation.
  • It might not show errors for anonymous blocks or dynamic SQL.
  • It's a convenient option for immediate error checking after compilation attempts.

Decoding Compilation Issues with dba_errors

The dba_errors view offers a comprehensive record of all compilation errors and warnings encountered within the current session or schema. This view provides detailed information for troubleshooting and analysis.

Here's a breakdown of key columns within dba_errors:

  • OWNER: Schema owner of the compiled object.
  • NAME: Name of the compiled object (procedure, function, package, etc.).
  • TYPE: Type of the compiled object.
  • LINE: Line number where the error/warning occurred.
  • TEXT: Detailed error/warning message description.
  • SEQUENCE: Order in which the errors/warnings were encountered.

Extracting Compilation Errors and Warnings from dba_errors:

You can leverage SQL queries to filter and extract specific compilation errors and warnings from dba_errors. Here are some examples:

  • List all compilation errors for a specific procedure:
1SELECT * FROM dba_errors
2WHERE NAME = '<procedure_name>'
  • Display all warnings for the current schema:
1SELECT * FROM dba_errors

Insights from dba_errors:

  • This view facilitates in-depth analysis of compilation issues beyond the last executed statement.
  • You can identify recurring errors across multiple objects within a schema.
  • It aids in understanding the root cause of errors by examining the sequence in which they occur.

Additional Considerations:

  • While dba_errors captures information for the current session/schema by default, you can use the OWNER clause to explore errors for other schemas if granted appropriate privileges.
  • Utilize wildcards (%) within the TEXT filter for broader error/warning message searches.

Beyond the Code: Best Practices for Compilation

Here are some best practices to minimize compilation errors and warnings:

  • Thorough Code Review: Carefully review code before compilation to catch potential syntax and

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