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Rowsets and SQL Server Cursors

SQL Server returns result sets to consumers using two methods:

  • Default result sets that:

    • Minimize overhead.

    • Provide maximal performance in fetching data.

    • Support only the default forward-only, read-only cursor functionality.

    • Return rows to the consumer one row at a time.

    • Support only one active statement at a time on a connection.

      After a statement has been executed, no other statements can be executed on the connection until all the results have been retrieved by the consumer or the statement has been canceled.

    • Support all Transact-SQL statements.

  • Server cursors that:

    • Support all cursor functionality.

    • Can return blocks of rows to the consumer.

    • Support multiple active statements on a single connection.

    • Balance cursor functionality against performance.

      The support for cursor functionality can decrease performance relative to a default result set. This can be offset if the consumer can use cursor functionality to retrieve a smaller set of rows.

    • Do not support any Transact-SQL statement that returns more than a single result set.

Consumers can request different cursor behaviors in a rowset by setting certain rowset properties. If the consumer does not set any one of these rowset properties or sets them all to their default values, the SQL Server Native Client OLE DB provider implements the rowset using a default result set. If any one of these properties is set to a value other than the default, the SQL Server Native Client OLE DB provider implements the rowset using a server cursor.

The following rowset properties direct the SQL Server Native Client OLE DB provider to use SQL Server cursors. Some properties can be safely combined with others. For example, a rowset that exhibits the DBPROP_IRowsetScroll and DBPROP_IRowsetChange properties will be a bookmark rowset exhibiting immediate update behavior. Other properties are mutually exclusive. For example, a rowset exhibiting DBPROP_OTHERINSERT cannot contain bookmarks.

Property ID

Value

Rowset behavior

DBPROP_SERVERCURSOR

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset is sequential, supporting forward scrolling and fetching only. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_CANSCROLLBACKWARDS or DBPROP_CANFETCHBACKWARDS

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports scrolling and fetching in either direction. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_BOOKMARKS or DBPROP_LITERALBOOKMARKS

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset is sequential, supporting forward scrolling and fetching only. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_OWNUPDATEDELETE or DBPROP_OWNINSERT or DBPROP_OTHERUPDATEDELETE

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports scrolling and fetching in either direction. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_OTHERINSERT

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports scrolling and fetching in either direction. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can include an ORDER BY clause if an index exists on the referenced columns.

DBPROP_OTHERINSERT cannot be VARIANT_TRUE if the rowset contains bookmarks. Trying to create a rowset with this visibility property and bookmarks causes an error.

DBPROP_IRowsetLocate or DBPROP_IRowsetScroll

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports scrolling and fetching in either direction. Bookmarks and absolute positioning through the IRowsetLocate interface are supported in the rowset. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_IRowsetLocate and DBPROP_IRowsetScroll require bookmarks in the rowset. Trying to create a rowset with bookmarks and DBPROP_OTHERINSERT set to VARIANT_TRUE causes an error.

DBPROP_IRowsetChange or DBPROP_IRowsetUpdate

VARIANT_TRUE

Can update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset is sequential, supporting forward scrolling and fetching only. Relative row positioning is supported. All the commands that support updatable cursors can support these interfaces.

DBPROP_IRowsetLocate or DBPROP_IRowsetScroll and DBPROP_IRowsetChange or DBPROP_IRowsetUpdate

VARIANT_TRUE

Can update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports scrolling and fetching in either direction. Bookmarks and absolute positioning through IRowsetLocate are supported in the rowset. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause.

DBPROP_IMMOBILEROWS

VARIANT_FALSE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports forward scrolling only. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can include an ORDER BY clause if an index exists on the referenced columns.

DBPROP_IMMOBILEROWS is only available in rowsets that can show SQL Server rows inserted by commands on other sessions or by other users. Trying to open a rowset with the property set to VARIANT_FALSE on any rowset for which DBPROP_OTHERINSERT cannot be VARIANT_TRUE causes an error.

DBPROP_REMOVEDELETED

VARIANT_TRUE

Cannot update SQL Server data through the rowset. The rowset supports forward scrolling only. Relative row positioning is supported. Command text can contain an ORDER BY clause unless constrained by another property.

A SQL Server Native Client OLE DB provider rowset supported by a server cursor can be easily created on a SQL Server base table or view by using the IOpenRowset::OpenRowset method. Specify the table or view by name, passing the required rowset property sets in the rgPropertySets parameter.

Command text that creates a rowset is restricted when the consumer requires that the rowset be supported by a server cursor. Specifically, the command text is restricted to either a single SELECT statement that returns a single rowset result or a stored procedure that implements a single SELECT statement returning a single rowset result.

These two tables show the mappings of various OLE DB properties and the cursor models. They also show which rowset properties should be set to use a certain type of cursor model.

Each cell in the table contains a value of the rowset property for the specific cursor model. The data type of all the rowset properties listed earlier in this topic is VT_BOOL and the default value is VARIANT_FALSE. The following symbols are used in the table.

F = default value (VARIANT_FALSE)

T = VARIANT_TRUE

- = VARIANT_TRUE or VARIANT_FALSE

To use a certain type of cursor model, locate the column corresponding to the cursor model and find all the rowset properties with value 'T' in the column. Set these rowset properties to VARIANT_TRUE to use the specific cursor model. The rowset properties with '-' as a value can be set to either VARIANT_TRUE or VARIANT_FALSE.

Rowset properties/cursor models

Default

result

set

(RO)

Fast

forward-

only

(RO)

Static

(RO)

Keyset

driven

(RO)

DBPROP_SERVERCURSOR

F

T

T

T

DBPROP_DEFERRED

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_IrowsetChange

F

F

F

F

DBPROP_IrowsetLocate

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_IrowsetScroll

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_IrowsetUpdate

F

F

F

F

DBPROP_BOOKMARKS

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_CANFETCHBACKWARDS

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_CANSRCOLLBACKWARDS

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_CANHOLDROWS

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_LITERALBOOKMARKS

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_OTHERINSERT

F

T

F

F

DBPROP_OTHERUPDATEDELETE

F

T

F

T

DBPROP_OWNINSERT

F

T

F

T

DBPROP_OWNUPDATEDELETE

F

T

F

T

DBPROP_QUICKSTART

F

F

-

-

DBPROP_REMOVEDELETED

F

F

F

-

DBPROP_IrowsetResynch

F

F

F

-

DBPROP_CHANGEINSERTEDROWS

F

F

F

F

DBPROP_SERVERDATAONINSERT

F

F

F

-

DBPROP_UNIQUEROWS

-

F

F

F

DBPROP_IMMOBILEROWS

-

-

-

T

Rowset properties/Cursor models

Dynamic (RO)

Keyset (R/W)

Dynamic (R/W)

DBPROP_SERVERCURSOR

T

T

T

DBPROP_DEFERRED

-

-

-

DBPROP_IrowsetChange

F

-

-

DBPROP_IrowsetLocate

F

-

F

DBPROP_IrowsetScroll

F

-

F

DBPROP_IrowsetUpdate

F

-

-

DBPROP_BOOKMARKS

F

-

F

DBPROP_CANFETCHBACKWARDS

-

-

-

DBPROP_CANSRCOLLBACKWARDS

-

-

-

DBPROP_CANHOLDROWS

F

-

F

DBPROP_LITERALBOOKMARKS

F

-

F

DBPROP_OTHERINSERT

T

F

T

DBPROP_OTHERUPDATEDELETE

T

T

T

DBPROP_OWNINSERT

T

T

T

DBPROP_OWNUPDATEDELETE

T

T

T

DBPROP_QUICKSTART

-

-

-

DBPROP_REMOVEDELETED

T

-

T

DBPROP_IrowsetResynch

-

-

-

DBPROP_CHANGEINSERTEDROWS

F

-

F

DBPROP_SERVERDATAONINSERT

F

-

F

DBPROP_UNIQUEROWS

F

F

F

DBPROP_IMMOBILEROWS

F

T

F

For a particular set of rowset properties, the cursor model that is selected is determined as follows.

From the specified collection of rowset properties, obtain a subset of properties listed in the previous tables. Divide these properties into two subgroups depending on the flag value—required (T, F) or optional (-)—of each rowset property. For each cursor model, start in the first table and move from left to right., Compare the values of the properties in the two subgroups with the values of the corresponding properties in that column. The cursor model that has no mismatch with the required properties and the least number of mismatches with the optional properties is selected. If there is more than one cursor model, the leftmost is chosen.

When a SQL Server cursor supports a SQL Server Native Client OLE DB provider rowset, the number of elements in the row handle array parameter of the IRowset::GetNextRows or the IRowsetLocate::GetRowsAt methods defines the cursor block size. The rows indicated by the handles in the array are the members of the cursor block.

For rowsets supporting bookmarks, the row handles retrieved by using the IRowsetLocate::GetRowsByBookmark method define the members of the cursor block.

Regardless of the method used to populate the rowset and form the SQL Server cursor block, the cursor block is active until the next row-fetching method is executed on the rowset.

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