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Schema rowsets allow consumers to obtain information about a data store without knowing its underlying structure, or schema. For example, a data store might have tables organized into a user-defined hierarchy, so there would be no way to ensure knowledge of the schema except by reading it. (As another example, note that the Visual C++ wizards use schema rowsets to generate accessors for the consumer.) To allow the consumer to do this, the provider's session object exposes methods on the IDBSchemaRowset interface. In Visual C++ applications, you use the IDBSchemaRowsetImpl class to implement IDBSchemaRowset.

IDBSchemaRowsetImpl supports the following methods:

ATL OLE DB Provider Wizard Support

The ATL OLE DB Provider Wizard creates three schema classes in the session header file:

  • CShortNameSessionTRSchemaRowset

  • CShortNameSessionColSchemaRowset

  • CShortNameSessionPTSchemaRowset

These classes respond to consumer requests for schema information; note that the OLE DB specification requires that these three schema rowsets be supported:

  • CShortNameSessionTRSchemaRowset handles requests for table information (the DBSCHEMA_TABLES schema rowset).

  • CShortNameSessionColSchemaRowset handles requests for column information (the DBSCHEMA_COLUMNS schema rowset). The wizard supplies sample implementations for these classes, which return schema information for a DOS provider.

  • CShortNameSessionPTSchemaRowset handles requests for schema information about the provider type (the DBSCHEMA_PROVIDER_TYPES schema rowset). The default implementation provided by the wizard returns S_OK.

You can customize these classes to handle schema information appropriate to your provider:

  • In CShortNameSessionTRSchemaRowset, you must fill out the catalog, table, and description fields (trData.m_szType, trData.m_szTable, and trData.m_szDesc). The wizard-generated example uses only one row (table). Other providers might return more than one table.

  • In CShortNameSessionColSchemaRowset, you pass the name of the table as a DBID.

Setting Restrictions

An important concept in schema rowset support is setting restrictions, which you do using SetRestrictions. Restrictions allow consumers to fetch only matching rows (for example, find all the columns in the table "MyTable"). Restrictions are optional, and in the case in which none are supported (the default), all data is always returned. For an example of a provider that does support restrictions, see the UpdatePV sample.

Setting up the Schema Map

Set up a schema map such as this one in Session.h in UpdatePV:

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    SCHEMA_ENTRY(DBSCHEMA_COLUMNS, CUpdateSessionColSchemaRowset)

To support IDBSchemaRowset, you must support DBSCHEMA_TABLES, DBSCHEMA_COLUMNS, and DBSCHEMA_PROVIDER_TYPES. You can add additional schema rowsets at your discretion.

Declare a schema rowset class with an Execute method such as CUpdateSessionTRSchemaRowset in UpdatePV:

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class CUpdateSessionTRSchemaRowset : 
    public CSchemaRowsetImpl < CUpdateSessionTRSchemaRowset, 
                              CTABLESRow, CUpdateSession >
// Execute looks like this; what pointers does the consumer use?
    HRESULT Execute(DBROWCOUNT* pcRowsAffected, 
                    ULONG cRestrictions, const VARIANT* rgRestrictions)

Note that CUpdateSession inherits from IDBSchemaRowsetImpl, so it has all the restriction handling methods. Using CSchemaRowsetImpl, declare three child classes (listed in the schema map above): CUpdateSessionTRSchemaRowset, CUpdateSessionColSchemaRowset, and CUpdateSessionPTSchemaRowset. Each of these child classes has an Execute method that handles its respective set of restrictions (search criteria). Each Execute method compares the values of the cRestrictions and rgRestrictions parameters. See the description of these parameters in SetRestrictions.

For more information about which restrictions correspond to a particular schema rowset, consult the table of schema rowset GUIDs in IDBSchemaRowset in the OLE DB Programmer's Reference in the Platform SDK.

For example, if you supported the TABLE_NAME restriction on DBSCHEMA_TABLES, you would do the following:

First, look up DBSCHEMA_TABLES and see that it supports four restrictions (in order).

Schema rowset restriction Restriction value


0x1 (binary 1)


0x2 (binary 10)


0x4 (binary 100)


0x8 (binary 1000)

Next, note that there is one bit for each restriction. Because you want to support TABLE_NAME only, you would return 0x4 in the rgRestrictions element. If you supported TABLE_CATALOG and TABLE_NAME, you would return 0x5 (binary 101).

By default, the implementation returns 0 (does not support any restrictions) for any request. UpdatePV is an example of a provider that does support restrictions.


This code is taken from the UpdatePV sample. UpdatePv supports the three required schema rowsets: DBSCHEMA_TABLES, DBSCHEMA_COLUMNS, and DBSCHEMA_PROVIDER_TYPES. As an example of how to implement schema support in your provider, this topic takes you through implementing the DBSCHEMA_TABLE rowset.


The sample code might differ from what is listed here; you should regard the sample code as the more up-to-date version.

The first step in adding schema support is to determine which restrictions you are going to support. To determine which restrictions are available for your schema rowset, look at the OLE DB specification for the definition of IDBSchemaRowset. Following the main definition, you see a table containing the schema rowset name, the number of restrictions, and the restriction columns. Select the schema rowset you want to support and make a note of the number of restrictions and restriction columns. For example, DBSCHEMA_TABLES supports four restrictions (TABLE_CATALOG, TABLE_SCHEMA, TABLE_NAME, and TABLE_TYPE):

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void SetRestrictions(ULONG cRestrictions, GUID* rguidSchema, 
   ULONG* rgRestrictions)
    for (ULONG l=0; l<cRestrictions; l++)
        if (InlineIsEqualGUID(rguidSchema[l], DBSCHEMA_TABLES))
            rgRestrictions[l] = 0x0C;
        else if (InlineIsEqualGUID(rguidSchema[l], DBSCHEMA_COLUMNS))
                 rgRestrictions[l] = 0x04;
             else if (InlineIsEqualGUID(rguidSchema[l],
                      rgRestrictions[l] = 0x00;

A bit represents each restriction column. If you want to support a restriction (that is, you can query by it), set that bit to a 1. If you do not want to support a restriction, set that bit to zero. From the line of code above, UpdatePV supports the TABLE_NAME and TABLE_TYPE restrictions on the DBSCHEMA_TABLES rowset. These are the third (bit mask 100) and fourth (bit mask 1000) restrictions. Therefore, the bitmask for UpdatePv is 1100 (or 0x0C):

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    if (InlineIsEqualGUID(rguidSchema[l], DBSCHEMA_TABLES))
        rgRestrictions[l] = 0x0C;

The following Execute function is similar to those in regular rowsets. You have three arguments: pcRowsAffected, cRestrictions, and rgRestrictions. The pcRowsAffected variable is an output parameter that the provider can return the count of rows in the schema rowset. The cRestrictions parameter is an input parameter containing the number of restrictions passed by the consumer to the provider. The rgRestrictions parameter is an array of VARIANT values that contain the restriction values.

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    HRESULT Execute(DBROWCOUNT* pcRowsAffected, ULONG cRestrictions, 
                    const VARIANT* rgRestrictions)

The cRestrictions variable is based on the total number of restrictions for a schema rowset, regardless of whether the provider supports them. Because UpdatePv supports two restrictions (the third and fourth), this code only looks for a cRestrictions value greater than or equal to three.

The value for the TABLE_NAME restriction is stored in rgRestrictions[2] (again, the third restriction in a zero-based array is 2). You need to check that the restriction is not VT_EMPTY to actually support it. Note that VT_NULL is not equal to VT_EMPTY. VT_NULL specifies a valid restriction value.

The UpdatePv definition of a table name is a fully qualified path name to a text file. Extract the restriction value and then attempt to open the file to ensure that the file does actually exist. If the file does not exist, return S_OK. This might seem a bit backwards but what the code is really telling the consumer is that there were no supported tables by the name specified. The S_OK return means that the code executed correctly.

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enum {
            sizeOfszFile = 255
CTABLESRow  trData;
FILE        *pFile = NULL;
TCHAR       szFile[ sizeOfszFile ];
errcode     err = 0;

// Handle any restrictions sent to us. This only handles
// the TABLE_NAME & TABLE_TYPE restictions (the 3rd and 4th 
// restrictions in DBSCHEMA_TABLES...look in IDBSchemaRowsets 
// in part 2 of the prog. ref) so your restrictions are 0x08 & 0x04 
// for a total of (0x0C)
if (cRestrictions >= 3 && rgRestrictions[2].vt != VT_EMPTY)
    CComBSTR bstrName = rgRestrictions[2].bstrVal;
    if ((rgRestrictions[2].vt == VT_BSTR) && (bstrName != (BSTR)NULL))
        // Check to see if the file exists
        _tcscpy_s(&szFile[0], sizeOfszFile, OLE2T(bstrName));
        if (szFile[0] == _T('\0') || 
           ((err = _tfopen(&pFile, &szFile[0], _T("r"))) == 0))
            return S_OK;// Their restriction was invalid return no data

Supporting the fourth restriction (TABLE_TYPE) is similar to the third restriction. Check to see that the value is not VT_EMPTY. This restriction only returns the table type, TABLE. To determine the valid values for the DBSCHEMA_TABLES, look in Appendix B of the OLE DB Programmer's Reference in the TABLES rowset section.

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// TABLE_TYPE restriction:
if (cRestrictions >=4 && rgRestrictions[3].vt != VT_EMPTY)
    CComBSTR bstrType = rgRestrictions[3].bstrVal;
    if ((rgRestrictions[3].vt == VT_BSTR) && (bstrType != (BSTR)NULL))
        // This is kind of a blind restriction.
        // This only actually supports
        // TABLES so if you get anything else, 
        // just return an empty rowset.
        if (_tcscmp(_T("TABLE"), OLE2T(bstrType)) != 0)
            return S_OK;

This is where you actually create a row entry for the rowset. The variable trData corresponds to CTABLESRow, a structure defined in the OLE DB provider templates. CTABLESRow corresponds to the TABLES rowset definition in Appendix B of the OLE DB specification. You only have one row to add because you can only support one table at a time.

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// Bring over the data:
lstrcpyW(trData.m_szType, OLESTR("TABLE"));
lstrcpyW(trData.m_szDesc, OLESTR("The Directory Table"));
lstrcpynW(trData.m_szTable, T2OLE(szFile), 
          SIZEOF_MEMBER(CTABLESRow, m_szTable));

UpdatePV sets only three columns: TABLE_NAME, TABLE_TYPE, and DESCRIPTION. You should make a note of the columns for which you return information, because you need this information when you implement GetDBStatus:

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        return E_OUTOFMEMORY;
    //if (!m_rgRowData.Add(trData))
    //    return E_OUTOFMEMORY;
    *pcRowsAffected = 1;
    return S_OK;

The GetDBStatus function is very important to the correct operation of the schema rowset. Because you do not return data for every column in the TABLES rowset, you need to specify which columns you return data for and which you do not.

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virtual DBSTATUS GetDBStatus(CSimpleRow* , ATLCOLUMNINFO* pColInfo)
    ATLASSERT(pColInfo != NULL);

    case 3:     // TABLE_NAME
    case 4:     // TABLE_TYPE
    case 6:     // DESCRIPTION
        return DBSTATUS_S_OK;
        return DBSTATUS_S_ISNULL;

Because your Execute function returns data for the TABLE_NAME, TABLE_TYPE, and DESCRIPTION fields from the TABLES rowset, you can look in Appendix B of the OLE DB specification and determine (by counting from the top down) that they are ordinals 3, 4, and 6. For each of those columns, return DBSTATUS_S_OK. For all the other columns, return DBSTATUS_S_ISNULL. It is important to return this status, because a consumer might not understand that the value you return is NULL or something else. Again, note that NULL is not equivalent to empty.

For more information about the OLE DB schema rowset interface, see the IDBSchemaRowset interface in the OLE DB Programmer's Reference.

For information about how consumers can use IDBSchemaRowset methods, see Obtaining Metadata with Schema Rowsets.

For an example of an provider that supports schema rowsets, see the UpdatePV sample.

See Also

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