IBM Support

Database errors occur when setting sort order on a Multiline string field

Technote (troubleshooting)


This technote identifies an issue that can occur in IBM Rational ClearQuest. When defining a sort order on a multiline field with a query, the database returns an error.


When running a query that has a sort order based on a multiline string field, you may experience errors similar to the following:

  • SQL Server

    SQLExecDirect: RETCODE=-1, State=37000, Native Error=306 SQL statement="select T1.dbid,T1.description from defect T1,users T9 where T1.owner = T9.dbid and (T1.dbid <> 0 and ((T9.login_name = 'admin')))order by T1.description ASC" [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]The text, ntext, and image data types cannot be compared or sorted, except when using IS NULL or LIKE operator. [Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]The cursor was not declared.
  • Oracle

    SQLExecDirect: RETCODE=-1, State=HY000, Native Error=932
    SQL statement="select T1.dbid,,T1.headline,T1.description from Defect T1 where T1.dbid <> 0 and ((T1.headline like '%error%')) order by T1.description ASC"

    [DataDirect][ODBC Oracle Wire Protocol driver][Oracle]ORA-00932: inconsistent datatypes: expected - got CLOB

You can also encounter this error when sorting by a multiline field in the ClearQuest for Eclipse client:
    Cannot execute a query that specifies a sort order or group-by operator on a multiline text field. One or more fields have this problem: <multiline field name>

These errors might also occur when a multiline string field is defined as the first column of a reference list, as reference list controls automatically sort on the first value of the list.

When clicking OK or Continue to resolve the above error message, a loop occurs that re-displays the error. To break the loop, you must exit the program or log out, depending on the ClearQuest interface that you are using.


This behavior was investigated as a product defect, APAR PK49743. The defect was closed as a third-party limitation. It is not possible to sort on multiline text fields and this is not expected functionality because the underlying databases do not support it.


The error has been observed in environments using these back-end databases:

  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • IBM DB2

Note: This has not been reported on Microsoft Access.

Resolving the problem

The error message, though stated in SQL terms, is an indication that the query must be fixed by sorting on valid fields only. If a query exist that is causing this error, then it must be modified to sort on a non-multiline string field.

Additionally, when creating reference list fields on the forms of record types, the first column of the form control should not reference a multiline string field.

Cross Reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Software Development Rational ClearQuest Database Configuration/Connectivity - DB2
Software Development Rational ClearQuest Database Configuration/Connectivity - Oracle
Software Development Rational ClearQuest Database Configuration/Connectivity - SQL Server

Document information

More support for: Rational ClearQuest

Software version: 7.0, 7.0.1, 7.1, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 2003.06.16

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1271938

Modified date: 01 November 2010

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