ODBC Diagnostics & Error Status Codes



This document aims to provide a brief introduction to ODBC diagnostics and status return codes.

We begin with an explanation of how ODBC Status return codes are formed, the meaning that this form has and then move onto how diagnostic information is retrieved and dealt with.

Finally, there are links to some, rather long, pages that list all the ODBC status codes and the ODBC API functions that can return them, complete with brief descriptions.

ODBC Status Returns

SQLGetDiagRec or SQLGetDiagField returns SQLSTATE values as defined by X/Open Data Management: Structured Query Language (SQL), Version 2 (March 1995). SQLSTATE values are strings that contain five characters. Appendixes A & B tables lists SQLSTATE values that a driver can return for SQLGetDiagRec.

The character string value returned for an SQLSTATE consists of a two-character class value followed by a three-character subclass value. A class value of "01" indicates a warning and is accompanied by a return code of SQL_SUCCESS_WITH_INFO. Class values other than "01," except for the class "IM," indicate an error and are accompanied by a return value of SQL_ERROR. The class "IM" is specific to warnings and errors that derive from the implementation of ODBC itself. The subclass value "000" in any class indicates that there is no subclass for that SQLSTATE. The assignment of class and subclass values is defined by SQL-92.

Note:Although successful execution of a function is normally indicated by a return value of SQL_SUCCESS, the SQLSTATE 00000 also indicates success.

All ODBC API's return a status value which may be used to check whether the function succeeded or not. In C you can test the return value from an ODBC function using the macro SQL_SUCCEEDED


/* Assume for this example the environment has already been allocated */
fsts = SQLAllocHandle(SQL_HANDLE_DBC, envh, &dbch);
if (!SQL_SUCCEEDED(fsts))
  /* an error occurred allocating the database handle */
  /* Database handle allocated OK */

The macro SQL_SUCCEEDED is defined as:

#define SQL_SUCCEEDED(rc) (((rc)&(~1))==0)

Virtually all ODBC functions can return two values which indicate success

Both of these returns cause the SQL_SUCCEEDED macro to result in 1.

If a function returns SQL_SUCCESS_WITH_INFO it means that the call succeeded but an informational message was produced.

e.g. with some drivers you might set the cursor type, prepare a statement and then execute it. When SQLExecute is called the statement is acted upon but the driver might change the cursor type to something else. In this case, SQLExecute would return SQL_SUCCESS_WITH_INFO and the driver would add a diagnostic indicating the cursor type had been changed.

You should note that a few ODBC functions return a status which fails the SQL_SUCCEEDED macro but do not indicate an error as such.

e.g. SQLFetch can return SQL_NO_DATA indicating there is no further rows in the result set, this is not necessarily an error.

Obtaining Diagnostics

When an ODBC function returns an error or SQL_SUCCESS_WITH_INFO then the driver will associate a diagnostic with the handle used in the ODBC call. You can obtain the diagnostic to find out what failed by calling SQLGetDiagRec with the handle you used in the ODBC call that failed.

The driver may associate multiple diagnostic records with a handle.

You can call SQLGetDiagField and request the SQL_DIAG_NUMBER attribute to find out how many diagnostics exist. Alternatively, as diagnostic records start at 1, you can repeatedly call SQLGetDiagRec asking for record 1, then 2 (and so on) until SQLGetDiagRec returns SQL_NO_DATA.

As an example, the following C function takes a function name string, handle type and handle and retrieves all the diagnostics associated with that handle.

void extract_error(
      char *fn,
      SQLHANDLE handle,
      SQLSMALLINT type)
    SQLINTEGER i = 0;
    SQLINTEGER native;
    SQLCHAR state[ 7 ];
    SQLCHAR text[256];
    SQLRETURN ret;
            "The driver reported the following diagnostics whilst running "

      ret = SQLGetDiagRec(type, handle, ++i, state, &native, text,
      sizeof(text), &len );
      if (SQL_SUCCEEDED(ret))
      printf("%s:%ld:%ld:%s\n", state, i, native, text);
    while( ret == SQL_SUCCESS );

Using the example above which attempts to allocate a database handle you could use extract_error as follows:

  /* Assume for this example the environment has already been allocated */
  SQLHENV envh;
  SQLHDBC dbch;
  fsts = SQLAllocHandle(SQL_HANDLE_DBC, envh, &dbch);
  if (!SQL_SUCCEEDED(fsts))
    extract_error("SQLAllocHandle for dbc", envh, SQL_HANDLE_ENV);
    /* Database handle allocated OK */

ODBC 2.0 applications will use SQLError instead of SQLGetDiagRec.

Diagnostic Fields

When you call SQLGetDiagRec you can retrieve 3 diagnostic fields:

The state is a five character SQLSTATE code. The first two characters indicate the class and the next three indicate the subclass. SQLSTATEs provide detailed information about the cause of a warning or error. You can look states up in Appendix A.

The native error code is a code specific to the data source. This number is often extremely useful to the driver developers in locating an internal error or state. If you are reporting a bug in an ODBC driver for which you obtained an error you should always quote the ODBC function called, the error text and this native number.

The message text is the text of the diagnostic. This string takes one of two forms:

For errors and warnings that do not occur in a data source the format:




Example diagnostic messages

You can use the message text string to identify which piece of software reported the error. For example, here are some message texts and error conditions:

The following three examples of diagnostic messages can be generated using the Easysoft ODBC-ODBC Bridge to access Microsoft SQL Server.

[Easysoft ODBC (Client)]Invalid authorization specification

This error was produced when the LogonUser/LogonAuth attributes were invalid and the connection attempt has been refused. The OOB alone was involved in this process.

[Easysoft ODBC (Server)][Microsoft][ODBC Driver Manager]
      Data source name not found and no default driver specified.

This error was produced by the Microsoft ODBC driver manager on the OOB Server machine when the TargetDSN attribute specified a DSN which does not exist on the server. You can see that the last item is square brackets was the "ODBC Driver manager" and hence that is the component which generated the error text. As the text is prefixed with "[Easysoft ODBC (Server)]" you know that it was the driver manager at the server end.

[Easysoft ODBC (Server)][Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]
      Login failed for user 'demo'.

This error was produced when the TargetUser/TargetAuth specified at the OOB client was passed through the DBMS which refused the connection. The last item in square brackets was "SQL Server" and so you know that SQL Server turned down the connection attempt.

Appendix A: ODBC Status Return Codes

A complete list of all ODBC Status Return codes can be found here.

This list includes error messages and the functions that can return the status code complete with brief descriptions.

Appendix B: ODBC 2.x to ODBC 3.x SQLSTATE Mappings

A list of ODBC 2.x to ODBC 3.x SQLSTATE mappings can be found here.