I am receiving this error when using an insert cursor in ArcPy.

I have identified the cause of it as a syntax error, however have not figured out the correct syntax to resolve the error.

I am using a CASE statement to convert a boolean data type to a string.

The statement works in Management studio, however there is something clearly wrong with the Python syntax which is causing the error.

I am converting the isproject from SQL Server to Oracle SDE.

The date conversion works fine; however the conversion for isproject is not working as expected.

When I debug fieldnames_string this is the output for the isproject

CASE WHEN [isproject]=1 THEN 'TRUE' WHEN [isproject]=0 THEN 'FALSE' END

What needs to be changed in this SQL statement to to avoid this error?

import arcpy
import datetime
fieldnames = [field.name for field in descrip.fields if field.name != descrip.OIDFieldName]

        #workaround for dates conversion
        fieldnames_wrapped = []
        for fieldname in fieldnames:

            if 'date' in fieldname:
                fieldnames_wrapped.append('CONVERT(VARCHAR, {0})'.format(fieldname))

            if 'isproject' in fieldname:
               fieldnames_wrapped.append("CASE WHEN [isproject]=1 THEN 'TRUE' " +\
                                       "WHEN [isproject]=0 THEN 'FALSE' END".format(fieldname))

                fieldnames_string = ','.join(fieldnames_wrapped)

        # execute sql to get all new/updated tickets
        ticket_sql = "select {0} from {1} where {2} in ({3})".format(fieldnames_string, self.ticket_table_name, self.ticket_id_field, job_id_string)

        conn = arcpy.ArcSDESQLExecute(self.korterra_sde_path)
        results = conn.execute(ticket_sql)

        if results is None:
            raise Exception('Ticket query unsuccessful')
        elif results == True:
            # no results were returned
            raise Exception('Ticket query returned no results')

        with arcpy.da.InsertCursor(ticket_table, fieldnames) as cursor:
            for result in results:
                # remove empty strings because of date conversion error
                row = [value if isinstance(value, basestring) and len(value.strip()) != 0 else None for value in result]

        return ticket_table
  • Could you edit your post to include which DBMS you are using?
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


Your SQL string has a .format(), but not a place to input it. ...unless "[isproject]" is really "{0}" in your code and you were trying to make it legible.

The following is what is giving you the syntax error:

        if 'isproject' in fieldname:
           fieldnames_wrapped.append("CASE WHEN [isproject]=1 THEN 'TRUE' " +\
                                   "WHEN [isproject]=0 THEN 'FALSE' END".format(fieldname))

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