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Server-side cursors are implemented beginning with the C API in
MySQL 5.0.2 via the
function. A server-side cursor allows a result set to be generated
on the server side, but not transferred to the client except for
those rows that the client requests. For example, if a client
executes a query but is only interested in the first row, the
remaining rows are not transferred.
In MySQL, a server-side cursor is materialized into a temporary
table. Initially, this is a
MEMORY table, but
is converted to a
MyISAM table if its size
reaches the value of the
system variable. (Beginning with MySQL 5.0.14, the same
temporary-table implementation also is used for cursors in stored
routines.) One limitation of the implementation is that for a
large result set, retrieving its rows through a cursor might be
Cursors are read-only; you cannot use a cursor to update rows.
UPDATE WHERE CURRENT OF and
WHERE CURRENT OF are not implemented, because updatable
cursors are not supported.
Cursors are non-holdable (not held open after a commit).
Cursors are asensitive.
Cursors are non-scrollable.
Cursors are not named. The statement handler acts as the cursor ID.
You can have open only a single cursor per prepared statement. If you need several cursors, you must prepare several statements.
You cannot use a cursor for a statement that generates a result
set if the statement is not supported in prepared mode. This
includes statements such as
HANDLER READ, and
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