I generated this error this morning. I was a little bit upset when the error occured. Mostly the error source of this error has been described in the Internet as follows:
Cause: A REFERENCES clause in a CREATE/ALTER TABLE statement gives a column-list for which there is no matching unique or primary key constraint in the referenced table.
Action: Find the correct column names using the ALL_CONS_COLUMNS catalog view
In my case, this error occured when I tried to add a foreign key constraint to a table.Later I found that there did not exist primary key in the referenced table or the column being referenced was not a primary key.
I think the better way to describe this would be to list out all possible reasons like the one I wrote above. Any way, I had to make the referenced column a primary key and it was done the next time!
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Happy Oracling! Happy programming!!