Skip to content
Tags

“This Procedure Never Raises Exceptions”

August 4, 2008

It’s a really bad thing to do, but that’s ok because “we put comments in that say it’s bad”.


PROCEDURE insert_stats IS
PRAGMA AUTONOMOUS_TRANSACTION
BEGIN
INSERT INTO stats_table ...
COMMIT;
EXCEPTION
WHEN OTHERS THEN
NULL; --yeah this is a bad thing to do, bla bla bla...
END insert_stats;

The idea is that we want to gather some stats about user behaviour, but we are not allowed to interrupt the user’s important work with any unexpected error that might be raised due to the gathering of those stats.

This post is not about why that’s a bad thing – others have made very good points about this practice elsewhere.

What I want to write about is the exception handler here – does it really protect the caller from exceptions raised by this procedure? The answer is, no. Why?


SQL> CREATE PROCEDURE test_handler AS
PRAGMA AUTONOMOUS_TRANSACTION;
n NUMBER;
BEGIN
INSERT INTO stats_table (id) VALUES (0);
dbms_output.put_line('inserted=' || SQL%ROWCOUNT);
n := 1 / 0; -- fail...
COMMIT;
EXCEPTION
WHEN OTHERS THEN
dbms_output.put_line('handled: ' || SUBSTR(SQLERRM,1,4000));
--"silly thing to do but at least we're safe, right?"
END test_handler;
/

Procedure created.

SQL> BEGIN test_handler; END;
/
inserted=1
handled: ORA-01476: divisor is equal to zero
BEGIN test_handler; END;
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-06519: active autonomous transaction detected and rolled back

The divide-by-zero is just there to simulate an exception that is raised after the insert succeeds, but before (or during) the COMMIT. As soon as the transaction is started, the procedure must raise ORA-06519 unless a COMMIT or ROLLBACK succeeds. Lesson to learn? An autonomous transaction will raise ORA-06519 to the caller, and it will not be caught by “WHEN OTHERS”. To get around this we could put a ROLLBACK in the exception handler.

About these ads

From → PL/SQL

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 180 other followers

%d bloggers like this: