AQL query errors

Errors can occur for queries at compile time, like for syntax errors and missing collections, but warnings and errors can also occur during query execution

Issuing an invalid query to the server results in a parse error if the query is syntactically invalid. ArangoDB detects such errors during query inspection and aborts further processing. The error number and an error message are returned so that you can fix the errors.

If a query passes the parsing stage, all collections explicitly referenced in the query are known. If any of these collections doesn’t exist, the query execution is aborted and an appropriate error message is returned.

Under some circumstances, executing a query may also produce errors or warnings at runtime. This cannot be predicted from inspecting the query text alone. This is because query operations can be data-dependent or are only evaluated during the query execution, like looking up documents dynamically or using document attributes that not all documents of the collection have. This can subsequently lead to errors or warnings if these cases are not accounted for.

Some examples of runtime errors:

  • Division by zero: Raised when an attempt is made to use the value 0 as the divisor in an arithmetic division or modulus operation
  • Invalid operands for arithmetic operations: Raised when an attempt is made to use any non-numeric values as operands in arithmetic operations. This includes unary (unary minus, unary plus) and binary operations (plus, minus, multiplication, division, and modulus)
  • Invalid operands for logical operations: Raised when an attempt is made to use any non-boolean values as operand(s) in logical operations. This includes unary (logical not/negation), binary (logical and, logical or), and the ternary operator
  • Array expected in query: Raised when a non-array operand is used for an operation that expects an array argument operand. This can happen if you try to iterate over an attribute with a FOR operation, expecting it to be an array, but if the attribute doesn’t exist, then it has a value of null which cannot be looped over.

See the Error codes and meanings for a complete list of ArangoDB errors.