Oracle creates a memory area, known as the context area, for processing an SQL statement, which contains all the information needed for processing the statement; for example, the number of rows processed, etc.
A cursor is a pointer to this context area. PL/SQL controls the context area through a cursor. A cursor holds the rows (one or more) returned by a SQL statement. The set of rows the cursor holds is referred to as the active set.
You can name a cursor so that it could be referred to in a program to fetch and process the rows returned by the SQL statement, one at a time. There are two types of cursors −
- Implicit cursors
- Explicit cursors
Implicit cursors are automatically created by Oracle whenever an SQL statement is executed, when there is no explicit cursor for the statement. Programmers cannot control the implicit cursors and the information in it.
Whenever a DML statement (INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE) is issued, an implicit cursor is associated with this statement. For INSERT operations, the cursor holds the data that needs to be inserted. For UPDATE and DELETE operations, the cursor identifies the rows that would be affected.
In PL/SQL, you can refer to the most recent implicit cursor as the SQL cursor, which always has attributes such as %FOUND, %ISOPEN, %NOTFOUND, and %ROWCOUNT. The SQL cursor has additional attributes, %BULK_ROWCOUNT and %BULK_EXCEPTIONS, designed for use with the FORALL statement. The following table provides the description of the most used attributes
|S.No||Attribute & Description|
Returns TRUE if an INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement affected one or more rows or a SELECT INTO statement returned one or more rows. Otherwise, it returns FALSE.
The logical opposite of %FOUND. It returns TRUE if an INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement affected no rows, or a SELECT INTO statement returned no rows. Otherwise, it returns FALSE.
Always returns FALSE for implicit cursors, because Oracle closes the SQL cursor automatically after executing its associated SQL statement.
Returns the number of rows affected by an INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE statement, or returned by a SELECT INTO statement.