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SQL ANSI standards and compliance

I have some programs developed in VB6. The SQL command set is compatible with MS SQL Server 2000 and MS Access. Now I need to provide support for Oracle also. The problem I am facing is with functions like LEFT, RIGHT, STR, MONTH, YEAR, etc. When these queries are fired on Oracle it says "invalid identifier." Where can I get a list of compatible functions in Oracle?

I have some programs developed in VB6. The SQL command set is compatible with MS SQL Server 2000 and MS Access. Now I need to provide support for Oracle also. The problem I am facing is with functions like LEFT, RIGHT, STR, MONTH, YEAR, etc. When these queries are fired on Oracle it says "invalid identifier." Where can I get a list of compatible functions in Oracle? I would feel obliged if you could help in this regard.
It sounds like you've run into a standards issue. SQL has been guided by the ANSI SQL standard. Most vendors still maintain some level of compliance with one of the several versions of the SQL standard.

For a nice overview of SQL and ANSI, see Intro To SQL.

As the link above says, vendors want to differentiate themselves so they add features unique to themselves. In this case, it is the addition of SQL-callable functions.

I don't know of a source that says for function "x" in SQL Server call function "y" in Oracle. The best site I've seen that does that is now very old (Oracle v7.3) but it might be a good place to start. Also, all of Oracle's documentation is free on an Oracle web site. You may have to sign up for a free membership.

You can view the documentation for the Oracle-provided SQL functions or take a look at Oracle SQL standards compliance.

If you have a specific question about using one of the functions or about using PL/SQL, be sure to send it this way!

This was last published in November 2005

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