How to Diagnose and Fix the ORA-02213 Error in Oracle

If you encounter the ORA-02213 error in Oracle, it means that you have attempted to execute an ALTER TABLE statement without specifying any options. This error can occur for various reasons, such as missing keywords or incorrect syntax. In this article, we will discuss how to diagnose and fix this error, covering all possible scenarios.

Diagnosing the ORA-02213 Error

When you encounter the ORA-02213 error, the first step is to carefully review the ALTER TABLE statement that triggered the error. Check for missing keywords, incorrect syntax, or any other issues that may have caused the error. Ensure that the ALTER TABLE statement includes the necessary options such as ADD, MODIFY, DROP, or RENAME.

If you are using a script or application to execute the ALTER TABLE statement, review the code to identify any potential issues. Additionally, check the Oracle documentation or search online forums and communities for similar issues and solutions.

Fixing the ORA-02213 Error

Once you have diagnosed the ORA-02213 error, you can proceed with fixing it based on the specific scenario. Here are some examples and sample code to address different possibilities:

Example 1: Missing Options

If the error is due to missing options in the ALTER TABLE statement, you need to specify the appropriate action such as ADD, MODIFY, DROP, or RENAME. Here’s an example of how to fix the error by adding a new column to a table:

ALTER TABLE employees
ADD (hire_date DATE);

In this example, we are adding a new column named “hire_date” of the DATE data type to the “employees” table.

Example 2: Incorrect Syntax

If the error is caused by incorrect syntax in the ALTER TABLE statement, review the syntax and make necessary corrections. Ensure that the keywords and options are used in the proper format. Here’s an example of correcting the syntax for modifying a column:

ALTER TABLE employees
MODIFY (salary NUMBER(10,2));

In this example, we are modifying the data type of the “salary” column in the “employees” table to NUMBER with precision and scale.

Example 3: Using Unsupported Options

If the error occurs due to using unsupported options in the ALTER TABLE statement, refer to the Oracle documentation to identify the valid options for the specific operation you are trying to perform. Avoid using unsupported options that may trigger the ORA-02213 error.


In conclusion, the ORA-02213 error in Oracle can be diagnosed and fixed by carefully reviewing the ALTER TABLE statement, addressing any missing options, correcting syntax errors, and ensuring the use of supported options. By following the examples and sample code provided in this article, you can effectively resolve the ORA-02213 error and successfully execute ALTER TABLE statements in Oracle. If you encounter any difficulties, consider seeking assistance from the Oracle community or consulting the official documentation for further guidance.

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