Z39.50 Diagnostic Messages


All error messages sent by the Copac target are Diagnostic Set Bib-1 diagnostics as detailed in Appendix 4 of the standard.

All Bib-1 diagnostics are numbered. Each number (usually) relating to a specific problem or error. When a target sends a diagnostic to the origin, it sends the number and an optional message known as AddInfo. This additional information is meant to throw more light on the nature of the problem.

I've split the diagnostics into two lists. The first list of common diagnostics contains those you are most likely to come across. The second list of obscure diagnostics details those you are unlikely to see and comprises the bulk of this page. With each diagnostic I've given the official Z39.50 meaning and a description of what it means in relation to the Copac target.

Common Copac Diagnostics

These are the ones you have a chance of doing something about. Usually it will be a Bib-1 attribute in your search that we don't support.

114 - Unsupported Use attribute

You asked to search on a Use attribute (otherwise known as access point or field) that Copac doesn't support. You can see a full list of supported attributes on the 'z39.50 page, Use attributes section.

117 - Unsupported Relation attribute

The Relation attributes are usually used (in Copac anyway) for date range searching. Those supported are Less Than (1), Less Than or Equal (2), Greater or Equal (4), Greater than (5), and Equal (3). You must have specified one of the others.
The Equal Relation attribute can be used with any Use attribute whereas the others are only valid when used with the Date (30) Use attribute.

118 - Unsupported Structure attribute

Copac only supports the following Structure attributes: Phrase (1), Word (2), Key (3) and Word List (6).
If you are trying date range searching, use either no structure attribute at all, or Word.
For more information on which structure attribute can be used with the various Use attributes see the z39.50 page, Structure attributes section.

119 - Unsupported Position attribute

Only the Any Position in Field (3) Position attribute is supported. You don't have to specify a Position attribute at all.

120 - Unsupported Truncation attribute

You can ask for Right Truncation (1) of your search terms or Do Not Truncate (100). No truncation is the default.
Asking for right truncation of search terms of 5 characters or less is asking for trouble.

122 - Unsupported Completeness attribute

Only Incomplete Subfield (1) is supported by Copac and is in fact the default (so there's no need to specify a Completeness attribute at all.)

123 - Unsupported attribute combination

You used a Relation operator such as Less Than with a Use attribute that wasn't Date (30).

207 - Cannot sort according to sequence

Valid Sort keywords are COPAC1 and COPAC2. These sort on: title then descending date, and, title then author respectively. You must have specified some other keyword.

215 - Illegal case value

Only case insensitive sorts are allowed.

235 - Database does not exist

You should set the database name in your origin to COPAC. (A database name of DEFAULT will not work (though XXDEFAULT will.))

238 - Record not available in requested syntax

You must have asked for a Copac record in a MARC format. Copac doesn't supply MARC records.

Obscure Copac Diagnostics

You are unlikely to ever see one of these (I hope). I've listed them for completeness.

2 - temporary system error

Something really nasty happened in the internals of the target and it is probably about to die. The best thing to do is end the session and try again.
You shouldn't get one of these, if you do please let me know.

3 - unsupported search

For the Copac target this means it didn't receive a database name in the Search Request. Probably means there's something wrong with your origin.

4 - Terms only exclusion (stop) words

Your search terms consisted entirely of what we consider stop words (ie words we don't bother searching for even if you insist on putting them in the query.) I don't think we've ever delivered one of these diagnostics.

13 - Present request out-of-range

If your result set had 11 records in it and you asked for number 12, then you'll get one of these.

14 - System error in presenting records

Another (probably) fatal error in the target. End your session and try again.

25 - Specified element set name not valid for specified database

The element set name is a fancy way of saying you want your records in either brief (B) or full (F) format. Copac understands other ESNs such as REF and F-HTML. You must have specified an ESN it didn't understand.

26 - Only generic form of element set name supported

It is possible (according to the Standard) for an origin to specify a database name with the element set name (see above.) The Copac target can't cope with this. This is something that will be hard-wired into your origin. Don't worry about it, you aren't likely to ever see this one. (I'd forgotten it even existed until I came to compile this list.)

27 - Result set no longer exists - unilaterally deleted by target

You'll get this if you tried to refer back to one of your previous searches and the target has (for some reason) deleted the result set. This is unlikely to happen.

30 - Specified result set does not exist

Similar to number 27 above. This time the target has no knowledge of the result set you are referring to. Probably an error in your origin caused this one.

100 - (unspecified) error

Not a helpful message this one. It usually means something fatal happened to the target and there's no other Bib-1 diagnostic that comes close to explaining what happened.

102 - Challenge required, could not be issued - operation terminated

You asked to do something that needs a user name and password and they couldn't be obtained from your origin.

103 - Challenge required, could not be issued - record not included

You need to supply a user name and password before the record you asked for can be delivered.

104 - Challenge failed - record not included

The Copac target asked for and received from your origin a user name and password. It turned out they were invalid.

107 - Query type not supported

There are various ways in Z39.50 in transporting your query between origin and target. The one commonly used is called Type-1 or RPN. This is the only one supported by Copac and your origin tried using another.

108 - Malformed query

The target's search engine didn't like your query. You'll get this if the query is just a date range search.

109 - Database unavailable

Serious error. The target couldn't access the database. End your session and try again. If it still doesn't work then please tell me.

110 - Operator unsupported

You'll only get this if you are searching the Explain database (where only boolean AND is allowed.)

111 - Too many databases specified

In the Search Request you can specify a list of databases which the target is supposed to apply your query to. In Copac only one database can be specified and that has to be Copac.

115 - Unsupported term value for Use attribute

You'll only get this if you are trying to search the Explain database. You probably asked for an Explain Category that Copac doesn't support (yet.)

116 - Use attribute required but not supplied

Another diagnostic when searching the Explain database. A Use attribute is always required for Explain -- not so when searching Coapc.

121 - Unsupported attribute set

There are other attribute sets apart from the horrendous Bib-1. The only other attribute set supported by Copac is Exp-1 for searching the Explain database.

124 - Unsupported coded value for term

All your search terms must arrive as type ``general''. Not something the average origin lets a user specify.

208 - No result set name supplied on Sort

The origin didn't say which result set it wanted sorting.

213 - Unsupported missing data action

This relates to Sort. Suppose you ask for the target to sort a result set by ISBN. Not all the records are going to have ISBNs, so the standard allows you to specify a value to be used as the ISBN for these records. Very nice, but Copac just doesn't support this.

214 - Illegal sort relation

Only ascending or descending sorts are allowed. I'm not even going to mention what the others are.

237 - Illegal sort

Nothing understandable was found in the Sort Request that suggests how you want the result set sorting.

244 - Present: comp-spec parameter no supported

Don't ask.

246 - Type-1 query: `complex' attributeValue not supported

Don't ask.

1011 - Init/AC: Bad Userid and/or Password

You supplied a user name and password that weren't valid. The Copac service doesn't need a user name or password anyway.