ERROR_MESSAGE (Transact-SQL)

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (starting with 2008) yesAzure SQL Database yesAzure SQL Data Warehouse yesParallel Data Warehouse

This function returns the message text of the error that caused the CATCH block of a TRY...CATCH construct to execute.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

Syntax

ERROR_MESSAGE ( )   

Return Types

nvarchar(4000)

Return Value

When called in a CATCH block, ERROR_MESSAGE returns the complete text of the error message that caused the CATCH block to run. The text includes the values supplied for any substitutable parameters - for example, lengths, object names, or times.

ERROR_MESSAGE returns NULL when called outside the scope of a CATCH block.

Remarks

ERROR_MESSAGE supports calls anywhere within the scope of a CATCH block.

ERROR_MESSAGE returns a relevant error message regardless of how many times it runs, or where it runs within the scope of the CATCH block. This contrasts with a function like @@ERROR, which only returns an error number in the statement immediately following the one that causes an error.

In nested CATCH blocks, ERROR_MESSAGE returns the error message specific to the scope of the CATCH block that referenced that CATCH block. For example, the CATCH block of an outer TRY...CATCH construct could have an inner TRY...CATCH construct. Inside that inner CATCH block, ERROR_MESSAGE returns the message from the error that invoked the inner CATCH block. If ERROR_MESSAGE runs in the outer CATCH block, it returns the message from the error that invoked that outer CATCH block.

Examples

A. Using ERROR_MESSAGE in a CATCH block

This example shows a SELECT statement that generates a divide-by-zero error. The CATCH block returns the error message.

BEGIN TRY  
    -- Generate a divide-by-zero error.  
    SELECT 1/0;  
END TRY  
BEGIN CATCH  
    SELECT ERROR_MESSAGE() AS ErrorMessage;  
END CATCH;  
GO  

Here is the result set.

-----------

(0 row(s) affected)

ErrorMessage
----------------------------------
Divide by zero error encountered.

(1 row(s) affected)

B. Using ERROR_MESSAGE in a CATCH block with other error-handling tools

This example shows a SELECT statement that generates a divide-by-zero error. Along with the error message, the CATCH block returns information about that error.

BEGIN TRY  
    -- Generate a divide-by-zero error.  
    SELECT 1/0;  
END TRY  
BEGIN CATCH  
    SELECT  
        ERROR_NUMBER() AS ErrorNumber  
        ,ERROR_SEVERITY() AS ErrorSeverity  
        ,ERROR_STATE() AS ErrorState  
        ,ERROR_PROCEDURE() AS ErrorProcedure  
        ,ERROR_LINE() AS ErrorLine  
        ,ERROR_MESSAGE() AS ErrorMessage;  
END CATCH;  
GO  

Here is the result set.

-----------

(0 row(s) affected)

ErrorNumber ErrorSeverity ErrorState  ErrorProcedure  ErrorLine  ErrorMessage
----------- ------------- ----------- --------------- ---------- ----------------------------------
8134        16            1           NULL            4          Divide by zero error encountered.

(1 row(s) affected)

See Also

sys.messages (Transact-SQL)
TRY...CATCH (Transact-SQL)
ERROR_LINE (Transact-SQL)
ERROR_MESSAGE (Transact-SQL)
ERROR_PROCEDURE (Transact-SQL)
ERROR_SEVERITY (Transact-SQL)
ERROR_STATE (Transact-SQL)
RAISERROR (Transact-SQL)
@@ERROR (Transact-SQL)
Errors and Events Reference (Database Engine)