ORA-14060 or ORA-14265 when modifying column definition

(Doc ID 330964.1)

Last updated on SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version and later
Information in this document applies to any platform.
***Checked for relevance on 29-Aug-2016***
Oracle Server Enterprise Edition - Version: and higher


You are trying to modify a column, for example:

Because this column is used as a partition key, this change is not allowed and you receive:

ORA-14060: data type or length of a table partitioning column may not be changed

Alternatively when modifying a subpartition key, you would receive:

ORA-14265: data type or length of a table subpartitioning column may not be changed 

This is also a possible problem when doing a character set change from single byte to multi byte ( AL32UTF8 typically) or from UTF8 to AL32UTF8 and there are partition keys in the database that contain columns defined with character length semantics .
There cannot be any (sub)partition keys who use CHAR semantics seen the byte lenght "behind the scene" changes during the character set change and the alter database/Csalter or DMU tool will fail.

This select will give all partitioned tables using char semantics columns:

SELECT C.owner,
FROM all_tab_columns C,
all_tables T
WHERE C.owner = T.owner
AND C.table_name = T.table_name
AND C.char_used = 'C'
AND C.table_name NOT IN
(SELECT table_name FROM all_external_tables
AND C.data_type IN ('VARCHAR2', 'CHAR')



You are trying to change the definition of a column that acts as a (sub)partition key.


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