OPEN (Transact-SQL)

Opens a Transact-SQL server cursor and populates the cursor by executing the Transact-SQL statement specified on the DECLARE CURSOR or SET cursor_variable statement.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

OPEN { { [ GLOBAL ] cursor_name } | cursor_variable_name }


Specifies that cursor_name refers to a global cursor.


Is the name of a declared cursor. If both a global and a local cursor exist with cursor_name as their name, cursor_name refers to the global cursor if GLOBAL is specified; otherwise, cursor_name refers to the local cursor.


Is the name of a cursor variable that references a cursor.

If the cursor is declared with the INSENSITIVE or STATIC option, OPEN creates a temporary table to hold the result set. OPEN fails when the size of any row in the result set exceeds the maximum row size for SQL Server tables. If the cursor is declared with the KEYSET option, OPEN creates a temporary table to hold the keyset. The temporary tables are stored in tempdb.

After a cursor has been opened, use the @@CURSOR_ROWS function to receive the number of qualifying rows in the last opened cursor.

SQL Server 2005 does not support generating keyset-driven or static Transact-SQL cursors asynchronously. Transact-SQL cursor operations such as OPEN or FETCH are batched, so there is no need for the asynchronous generation of Transact-SQL cursors. SQL Server 2005 continues to support asynchronous keyset-driven or static application programming interface (API) server cursors where low latency OPEN is a concern, due to client round trips for each cursor operation.

The following example opens a cursor and fetches all the rows.

SELECT LastName, FirstName
FROM AdventureWorks.HumanResources.vEmployee
WHERE LastName like 'B%';

OPEN Employee_Cursor;

FETCH NEXT FROM Employee_Cursor;
    FETCH NEXT FROM Employee_Cursor

CLOSE Employee_Cursor;
DEALLOCATE Employee_Cursor;

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