Resolving the ORA-12154 Error: Your Roadmap to Database Connection Success

Encountering the ORA-12154 error can be a perplexing experience, often linked to your local copy of the tnsnames.ora file, listener configuration, and database name aliases. We're here to guide you through resolving this common issue and ensuring a seamless database connection.

Verify Your Listener Configuration

First and foremost, ensure that your listener is configured to listen for the service name you intend to use.  To verify this use the following command on the server:

lsnrctl status

Then ensure your tnsnames.ora file on your client machine is using the proper service name.

Keep an eye out for any aliases associated with your service name, checking both global (world) entries and local entries. Here's where to look:


Verify the global_name setting with the following SQL query:

  SELECT * FROM global_name;

Ensure that the query value matches your init.ora parameters for db_name and db_domain. If not, consider using the following command to align them:


Notes on Configuring tnsnames.ora

The oerr command-line utility provides additional insight:

$oerr ora 12154

ORA-12154: TNS: could not resolve the connect identifier specified

Actions for Resolution

If Using Local Naming (tnsnames.ora file):

1. Ensure that TNSNAMES is listed as one of the values of the `names.directory_path` parameter in the `sqlnet.ora` Oracle Net profile.

2. Confirm the existence and accessibility of the `tnsnames.ora` file in the proper directory.

3. Check for the net service name in the `tnsnames.ora` file.

4. Review the `tnsnames.ora` file for syntax errors, such as unmatched parentheses or stray characters.

If Using Directory Naming:

1. Verify that LDAP is listed in the `names.directory_path` parameter in the `sqlnet.ora` Oracle Net profile.

2. Confirm the accessibility of the LDAP directory server.

3. Ensure the net service name or database name is configured in the directory.

4. Validate the correctness of the default context by specifying a fully qualified net service name or a full LDAP DN as the connect identifier.

If Using EZCONNECT Naming:

1. Confirm that EZCONNECT is listed in the `names.directory_path` parameter in the `sqlnet.ora` Oracle Net profile.

2. Verify the correctness of the host, port, and service name specified.

3. Consider enclosing the connect identifier in quotes for troubleshooting.

Remember, while the ORA-12154 error can have various causes, it may also appear with a TNS-03505: failed to resolve name error, indicating a problem before the server is found. Keep an eye on similarities with ORA-12514, which relates to the tns listener service.

Let this guide be your roadmap to navigating and resolving the ORA-12154 error, ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted database connection experience. For more detailed information on naming conventions and troubleshooting network errors, refer to the Oracle Net Services Administrators Guide or the Oracle operating system-specific guide.