Ora 01460 unimplemented or unreasonable conversion requested

Oracle Error Tips by Donald Burleson

Question: I am working on advancing my SQL knowledge, so I write bits of code, run them and see what they do. Recently, I have run into an ORA-01460 error.

ORA-01460 unimplemented or unreasonable conversion requested

I have researched this mysterious ORA-01460 error, but I cannot see the cause of it in my simple SQL.

What causes the ORA-01460 and how can I avoid it?

Answer: First, use the oerr utility to look up information on the ORA-01460:

ORA-01460 unimplemented or unreasonable conversion requested

Cause: The requested format conversion is not supported.

Action: Remove the requested conversion from the SQL statement. Check the syntax for the TO_CHAR, TO_DATE, and TO_NUMBER functions to see which conversions are supported.

Oracle MOSC documentation reveals that on Oracle versions 8.0.3 and higher, ORA-01460 can be associated with bug 2735156 which is caused by "’mixing’ PLSQL and SQL".

There are other reported causes of the ORA-01460 as well:

  • Incompatible character sets can cause an ORA-01460
  • Using SQL Developer, attempting to pass a string to a bind variable value in excess of 4000 bytes can result in an ORA-01460
  • With ODP, users moving from the 10.2 client and 10.2 ODP to the 11.1 client and ODP reported an ORA-01460 error. This was a bug that should be fixed by patching ODP to the most recent version.

It appears, according to information on bug 5872943, that the ORA-01460 associated with ODP.NET, while not an ODP error, persisted through database version 11.2 where it has been reported as fixed.

Burleson is the American Team

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