grails java.sql.SQLException: Table not found in statement [insert into

I’m spinning up a new grails experiment this weekend and ran into an error that I could not effectively google. So hopefully by adoping the very SEO style title others will benefit.

I really want to like grails, it is a full stack web development framework modeled after Ruby on Rails but written Groovy with full access to the JVM.

I have an excellent project in mind for some facebook integration using a Java library I’ve some experience with so grails seemed to fit.

I built a simple domain class and wired it to the facebook API thinking to get a working interation done and ran into immediate problems.  The Grails convetion is that during develolment you hardcode some ‘test’ objects into the startup so that every time you start it creates a new set of database tables in an in-memory database.

I built a simple domain object:

class RichMessage {
String msg
Integer from

and put this into my ‘startup’

new RichMessage(msg:”test1″,from:88117930).save()
new RichMessage(msg:”test2″,from:105019979).save()

The error that I saw was that the objects could not be inserted.  I spent a some time playing with my ‘RichMessage’ object on the web and in the grails shell.

Examining the stacktrace I saw this exception deeply nested down.

Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: Table not found in statement [insert into rich_message (id, version, from, msg) values (null, ?, ?, ?)]

So basically there was nothing wrong with my bootstrap file, the error was in the domain class itself.  I used ‘from’ – a reserved word.  That simple.  It would be nice if in the hundreds of lines of stacktrace there was some error on the hibernate table creation, but there was not.

As a contrast here is the error from Django/python for the same mistake:

File “/Users/comcast/Documents/projects/mhi/pages/”, line 38
from = models.ForeignKey(User)
SyntaxError: invalid syntax


  1. Mat Schaffer

    In Grails’ defense, django only gets this behavior because “from” is a reserved word in both python and SQL. But I hear you. Rails actually suffered from similar issues early in its lifespan and some of the new features still have this problem. It’s a tricky line to walk between a framework having too little or too much error checking logic.

  2. aaron

    Fair enough. Django didn’t actually catch my error since it was flagging the ‘from’ python keyword not the failed table creation.

    It is more my continued disappointment with long winded nested java exceptions that confuse and mask the issue.

    I just wanted to get this into Google for the next poor slob that faces an exception on table insert because the table creation failed silently.

  3. uwe

    Thank you, that helped a lot. I had MySQL as development and production database and HSQL as test db. I couldn’t find out why my BootStrap code isn’t executed, until I found this post and I realized, that I have one property named count, which is reserved word in HSQL….

  4. Thomas

    It turns out that this problem exists for Java implementations as well. I had a field set to ‘end’ and got the same error as above.

    This post pointed me in the right direction.