Error Message Numbers and Descriptions
A message number uniquely identifies each error message and the error message text describes the problem. The error message text often includes placeholders for information (such as object names) to be inserted in the error message when it is displayed.
In the description column of the sysmessages table, a percent sign (%) followed by a character serves as a placeholder; the specific data is supplied when the error message is generated. The notation %d is a placeholder for a number; %ls (or %.*ls) is a placeholder for a string. For example, the actual error message displayed for error 105 might be:
Unclosed quote before the character string %.*ls.
When you report an error to your primary support provider, it is important to include error numbers, error states, object types, and object names. Otherwise, it can be difficult and time-consuming for the support provider to render assistance in resolving the error message.