How do I get around this problem "a non-numeric character was found where a numeric was expected "

When I run my code in PHP I get this error message: a non-numeric character was found where a numeric was expected. When I change the last line of code "to_date('1 ' || T1.months) desc " to "to_char('1 ' || T1.months) desc " it works fine. However, it does not sort the data. I am trying to get it to print the months starting with the most recent e.g (February 2011, January 2011, December 2010, ...).  Is there a work around this? Or should I try to do it in PHP using a recordset? Please help either way.

Thanks!
select T1.months, T2.totalehrs, T2.totaleexp as totaleexp,
       T2.totalahrs, T2.totalaexp, decode(T2.totalehrs,NULL,'No data Found','') as note
from (
      select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  0  ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -1 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -2 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -3 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -4 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -5 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual 
union select to_char(add_months(sysdate,  -6 ) , 'MONTH YYYY') as months from dual)  T1,
(
select to_char(completed,'MONTH YYYY') as months, 
    nvl2( SUM(EST_HRS), SUM(EST_HRS) , '0') as totalehrs, 
    nvl2( SUM(EST_EXP), SUM(EST_EXP) , '0') as totaleexp, 
    nvl2( SUM(ACTUAL_HRS), SUM(ACTUAL_HRS), '0') as totalahrs, 
    nvl2( SUM(ACTUAL_EXP), SUM(ACTUAL_EXP), '0') as totalaexp 
from Table 
where 
    completed >= add_months(sysdate,-6)
    group by to_char(completed,'MONTH YYYY')
)  T2
   where T1.months = T2.months(+)
   order by to_date('1 ' || T1.months) desc ;

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taviafAsked:
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gatorvipConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>>> order by to_date('1 ' || T1.months) desc ;

The error is here ... T1.months has the format 'MONTH YYYY'  so when you append 1 to it, you'll get something like
to_date( '1 FEBRUARY 2011') and Oracle doesn't know how to read that if your date format is not DD MONTH YYYY.

So you probably want to change the line to read

order by to_date('1 ' || T1.months, 'DD MONTH YYYY') desc ;


Another way would be to use pure dates instead of strings. You can obtain the first of the month with simple SQL: trunc(<date_field>, 'MM')
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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]Connect With a Mentor Billing EngineerCommented:
nvl2( SUM(EST_HRS), SUM(EST_HRS) , '0') as totalehrs,

is a problem, the '0' would be varchar, while the part before is numerical.

this would be ok:
nvl2( SUM(EST_HRS), SUM(EST_HRS) , 0) as totalehrs,


same for the lines below that.
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taviafAuthor Commented:
@ angellll, I made the change as you mentioned and I also removed the note column "decode(T2.totalehrs,NULL,'No data Found','') as note" and I still get the same error message: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01858: a non-numeric character was found where a numeric was expected.

I am so confused!!!
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Ovid BurkeConnect With a Mentor Consultant InstructorCommented:
On line 23 there appears to be an space at '1 '.
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taviafAuthor Commented:
Now I get this when I remove the space: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01861: literal does not match format string
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taviafAuthor Commented:
So I tried to set my format by doing:
$s = oci_parse($conng, "alter session set nls_date_format='MONTH YYYY'");
oci_execute($s);

Then I get: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01843: not a valid month

I don't know which is correct or what to do to fix either one :(
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Ovid BurkeConsultant InstructorCommented:
Try rewriting the line 23 this way:

order by to_date(T1.months, 'l') desc

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Ovid BurkeConsultant InstructorCommented:
Hello, I am thinking that the there is still and error in that. So try either of these

order by to_date(T1.months, 'I') desc

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or

order by to_date(T1.months, 'Y') desc

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taviafAuthor Commented:
when I do
 order by to_date(T1.months, 'Y') desc
 I get this:  Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01841: (full) year must be between -4713 and +9999, and not be 0

And when I do
order by to_date(T1.months, 'I') desc
I get this: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01820: format code cannot appear in date input format

When I do : order by to_date(T1.months, '1') desc
I get this: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-01821: date format not recognized

When I do : order by to_date(T1.months, 1) desc
I get this: Warning: ociexecute() [function.ociexecute]: ORA-00932: inconsistent datatypes: expected DATE got NUMBER

Why so many different warnings?!?!?! I don't know what to do...
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taviafAuthor Commented:
I want to thank all of you! It finally works!!!!
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