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Java – find the first cause of an exception

I need to check if an exception is caused by some database problem. I receive an Exception and check if its cause contains the “ORA” string and return that (something like “ORA-00001”). The problem here is that the exception I receive is nested inside other exceptions, so if I don’t find out if it’s an oracle exception, I have to check into the cause of that exception and so on. Is there a cleaner way to do this? Is there a way to know the first cause (the deep-nested exception) of a given exception?

My current code looks like this:

private String getErrorOracle(Throwable e){
        final String ORACLE = "ORA";
        if (e.getCause() != null && e.getCause().toString().contains(ORACLE)){
            return e.getCause().toString();
        } else if(e.getCause() != null){
            return getErrorOracle(e.getCause());
        } else {
            return null;



Just traverse the exception chain until you get to an exception with no cause, and then just return that message, if you want the last one.

Your function will only get the first cause, if there is one.

You may want to look at finding the first cause in your package though, as the actual deepest one may be an oracle exception, which is helpful, but unless you can see where you created the problem, you will have a hard time fixing it.

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