SQLCODE=-803, SQLSTATE=23505: Understanding and Resolving the Error

Have you ever encountered the error message "sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505" and wondered what it means? Well, you’re not alone. This error is a common one that pops up when you’re working with databases, specifically when you’re trying to insert or update data in a table that has a unique constraint. In simpler terms, it means that you’re trying to add a record that already exists, and the database is telling you "Hey, we can’t have duplicates here!" But don’t fret, I’m here to walk you through how to handle this error like a pro.

Steps to Resolve sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505

Before we dive into the steps to resolve this error, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. We want to identify the cause of the error, fix it and ensure that our data is inserted or updated without any hiccups.

Step 1: Identify the Duplicate Entry

The first step is to figure out which record is causing the issue.

When you encounter the sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505 error, the database is essentially telling you that a record you’re trying to insert or update already exists. You need to find out which record it is. You can do this by looking at the unique index or constraint that’s being violated and compare it to the data you’re trying to insert.

Step 2: Remove or Modify the Duplicate Entry

Once you’ve identified the duplicate entry, you need to decide whether to remove it or modify it.

If the duplicate entry is not needed, you can simply remove it. However, if it’s important data, you’ll need to modify it in a way that it no longer violates the unique constraint. This might involve updating a key field to a new value that doesn’t already exist in the table.

Step 3: Retry the Insert or Update

After resolving the duplicate entry, you can go ahead and retry the insert or update.

With the duplicate entry out of the way, you should be able to insert or update your data without encountering the sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505 error. Make sure to double-check your data before retrying to prevent any further errors.

Once you’ve gone through these steps, the error should be resolved, and your data should be successfully inserted or updated in the database. It’s important to always ensure that the data you’re working with is unique when required, to prevent this error from occurring in the first place.

Tips for Avoiding sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505

  • Always check for unique constraints on a table before inserting or updating data.
  • Use database functions to generate unique values for key fields.
  • Regularly clean up your data to prevent duplicates.
  • Implement error handling in your database operations to catch and resolve errors like sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505.
  • Consider using database tools that can help you identify and resolve duplicate data issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a unique constraint?

A unique constraint is a rule in a database that ensures all values in a column or a set of columns are unique across rows.

How do I find which unique constraint was violated?

You can find the violated unique constraint by checking the database schema or by looking at the error message, which usually contains the name of the constraint.

Can I disable the unique constraint to avoid this error?

Disabling a unique constraint is not recommended as it ensures data integrity. Instead, resolve the duplicate data issue.

Will retrying the operation always resolve the error?

Retrying the operation will only resolve the error if the duplicate entry issue has been fixed first.

Is this error specific to a certain database management system?

No, this error can occur in any database management system that enforces unique constraints.


  1. Identify the Duplicate Entry
  2. Remove or Modify the Duplicate Entry
  3. Retry the Insert or Update


Encountering the "sqlcode=-803, sqlstate=23505" error can be a bit of a headache, but it’s not the end of the world. With a clear understanding of what causes the error and the steps to resolve it, you can quickly get back on track with your database operations. Remember to always pay attention to unique constraints and handle your data with care to avoid running into this error frequently. Keep these tips and tricks in your back pocket, and you’ll be handling unique constraint violations like a seasoned database administrator. Happy coding, and may your data always be unique and error-free!