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The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming Guide
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 478 pages
ISBN 9781906966065
RRP £14.95 ($19.95)

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9.7.1 Declaring Cursor Variables

All access to cursors in PL/pgSQL goes through cursor variables, which are always of the special data type refcursor. One way to create a cursor variable is just to declare it as a variable of type refcursor. Another way is to use the cursor declaration syntax, which in general is:

name [ [ NO ] SCROLL ] CURSOR [ ( arguments ) ] FOR query;

(FOR can be replaced by IS for Oracle compatibility.) If SCROLL is specified, the cursor will be capable of scrolling backward; if NO SCROLL is specified, backward fetches will be rejected; if neither specification appears, it is query-dependent whether backward fetches will be allowed. arguments, if specified, is a comma-separated list of pairs name datatype that define names to be replaced by parameter values in the given query. The actual values to substitute for these names will be specified later, when the cursor is opened.

Some examples:

DECLARE
    curs1 refcursor;
    curs2 CURSOR FOR SELECT * FROM tenk1;
    curs3 CURSOR (key integer) IS SELECT * FROM tenk1 WHERE 
  unique1 = key;

All three of these variables have the data type refcursor, but the first can be used with any query, while the second has a fully specified query already bound to it, and the last has a parameterized query bound to it. (key will be replaced by an integer parameter value when the cursor is opened.) The variable curs1 is said to be unbound since it is not bound to any particular query.

ISBN 9781906966065The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 2 - Programming GuideSee the print edition