Javatpoint Logo
Javatpoint Logo

Ambiguous Column Name in DBMS


While working with relational databases, developers frequently experience situations where they need to retrieve data from different tables utilizing SQL inquiries. In these circumstances, it's generally expected to join tables to combine related data. Notwithstanding, as the complexity of the queries increments, so does the probability of experiencing ambiguous column names. An ambiguous column name happens when a column referred to in a query exists in more than one table engaged with the query, making it unclear which table the column ought to be retrieved from. This ambiguity can prompt errors in question execution or produce startling outcomes in the event that not dealt with as expected.

Causes of Ambiguous Column Names

Ambiguous column names commonly emerge because of one of the following reasons:

Table Joins: While joining multiple tables in a query, it's normal for those tables to have columns with a similar name. On the off chance that these columns are referred to without indicating the table they have a place with, the database engine will need to know which column to select.

Subqueries or views: Subqueries or views utilized inside a bigger query might remember columns with similar names as columns for different tables referred to in the fundamental query. While not appropriately qualified, these column names can become ambiguous.

Examples of Ambiguous Column Names

Let's consider a simple example involving two tables: employees and departments.

Assume we need to retrieve the names of employees alongside the names of their departments. We could build a query like this:

In the above query, both the employees and departments tables have a column named name. By expressly indicating which name column we need (employee name or department name), the database engine will know which one to choose.

To resolve this ambiguity, we can use table aliases and qualify the column names:

By providing aliases (employees and departments) and qualifying the column names with these aliases, we clarify which table every column has a place with.

Handling Ambiguous Column Names

To keep away from errors and guarantee precise query results, developers can utilize a few systems for taking care of ambiguous column names:

Utilize Table Aliases: Assign aliases to tables in the query and qualify column names with these aliases to explicitly indicate which table the columns have a place with.

Prefix column Names: Rather than utilizing table aliases, prefix column names with the table name to recognize them. For instance, and

Avoid Choosing All Columns:When composing queries, expressly list the columns to choose instead of utilizing SELECT *. This lessens the probability of unintentionally choosing columns with ambiguous names.

Avoid Ambiguous Column Names: While planning database schemas, endeavour to utilize clear and interesting column names to limit the probability of ambiguity.

Moderating Uncertainty in Complex Queries

Notwithstanding the systems referenced before, there are further methods developers can utilize to moderate uncertainty in complex queries:

Use Descriptive Aliases: While appointing table aliases, choose distinct names that reflect the job or reason for each table in the query. For example, rather than just utilizing "e" for the employee's table, think about utilizing "emp" to clarify that it addresses representative information.

Explicit JOIN Syntax: Rather than utilizing implicit joins (comma-isolated tables in the FROM clause), utilize explicit JOIN syntax alongside the ON clause to determine join conditions. This upgrades comprehensibility as well as helps in distinguishing column connections all the more obviously.


Ambiguous column names represent a typical test in database query development, especially in situations including various tables or complex data models. By utilizing best practices like tablealiases, explicit JOIN syntax, and elucidating naming conventions, developers can limit uncertainty and guarantee the exactness and execution of their SQL queries. Understanding how to recognize and determine ambiguous column names is fundamental for composing efficient and reliable SQL queries in relational database systems.Keeping away from normal mistakes and pitfalls and taking into accountlong-term maintenance suggestions are fundamental for making robust and maintainable database solutions.

Youtube For Videos Join Our Youtube Channel: Join Now


Help Others, Please Share

facebook twitter pinterest

Learn Latest Tutorials


Trending Technologies

B.Tech / MCA