Error: Oracle error ORA-65096 is received when performing operation that creates a new user or role

Error Message

When running certain geoprocessing tools on an Oracle 12c database the following error is encountered:

"ORA-65096: invalid common user or role name."

Below are examples of error messages received using the Create Enterprise Geodatabase tool:

"Error creating geodatabase admin user. [ERROR: Failed to create new Oracle user sde (-51)."
"Error: Underlying DBMS error (-51).
Extended error code: (65096)"
"ORA-65096: invalid common user or role name."
"Failed to execute (CreateEnterpriseGeodatabase)."

This error is encountered when running the following tools:

  • Create Enterprise Geodatabase
  • Create Database User
  • Create Role


This is due to the specified Oracle instance being a container database. As part of the new multi-tenant functionality at Oracle 12c, databases can be created as a container database with associated pluggable database(s).


Currently, Oracle is designed to support users at the container level only for administrative tasks. Due to this design, enterprise geodatabases do not function at the container level.

Solution or Workaround

Instead of providing the connection string to the container database, provide a connection string to one of the pluggable databases.

To check if a connection is to a container database run the following query in Oracle:


If the result of this query is 'YES', run the following query to determine if there are any pluggable databases within the container:


If there are pluggable databases available, ask the DBA which pluggable database may be used to create an enterprise geodatabase.
If a pluggable database does not exist or is not available for use, please visit Oracle's website for creating a pluggable database. Create Pluggable Database.

Related Information

Last Published: 3/20/2020

Article ID: 000012259

Software: Legacy Products ArcMap 10.8, 10.7.1, 10.7, 10.6.1, 10.6, 10.5.1, 10.5, 10.4.1, 10.4, 10.3.1, 10.3, 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1, 10