Oracle DB Trigger

I am receiving data which is too big for one of the database fields. I created a trigger to truncate the data to the correct size:
However, when the field is too big, the error seems to appear before the trigger is invoked. If the field is the correct length, the trigger is clearly executed.

Is this the expected behavior? Am I doing something wrong?
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release 11.2.0.3.0 - 64bit Production    
PL/SQL Release 11.2.0.3.0 - Production                                          
CORE      11.2.0.3.0      Production                                                        
TNS for 64-bit Windows: Version 11.2.0.3.0 - Production                          
NLSRTL Version 11.2.0.3.0 - Production
TomDarbyAsked:
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sdstuberCommented:
check constraints  like nullability or upper/lower  and foreign key constraints are applied after triggers fire.

basic structural limits (data type, data size) are applied before triggers fire - by necessity.  
Your trigger couldn't have a ":new.value"  of varchar2(20) with a 50 character string in it.

You will have to correct the length before putting the value in,  or make the column definition bigger.
You could then apply a check constraint to ensure the trigger-modified value was of the appropriate shorter length.
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slightwv (䄆 Netminder) Commented:
I believe length and syntax restrictions are checked at the time the statement is parsed which is before it is executed so the trigger isn't going to work.

As a DBA, the question I have is why it would be acceptable to truncate data and therefore lose it.

If someone passes you data, they sort of expect it to be stored.  Don't they?

Can you not change the table to account for the maximum length you can be sent?

If not, maybe load the data into a staging table for processing before adding it into the main table.
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TomDarbyAuthor Commented:
The routine is being passed a 12 position postal code and it only needs 9 so I was hoping to truncate it. I guess that will not work.
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