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SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 (Français) » SQL Anywhere Server - SQL Usage » Stored Procedures and Triggers » Using procedures, triggers, and batches

 

Introduction to batches

A batch is a set of SQL statements submitted together and executed as a group, one after the other. The control statements used in procedures (CASE, IF, LOOP, and so on) can also be used in batches. If the batch consists of a compound statement enclosed in a BEGIN/END, then it can also contain host variables, local declarations for variables, cursors, temporary tables and exceptions. Host variable references are permitted within batches with the following restrictions:

  • only one statement in the batch can refer to host variables

  • the statement which uses host variables cannot be preceded by a statement which returns a result set

Use of BEGIN/END is recommended to clearly indicate when a batch is being used.

Statements within the batch may be delimited with semi-colons, in which case the batch is conforming to the Watcom-SQL dialect. A multi-statement batch that does not use semi-colons to delimit statements conforms to the Transact-SQL dialect. The dialect of the batch determines which statements are permitted within the batch, and also determines how errors within the batch are handled. For more information about Transact-SQL batches, see Transact-SQL batch overview.

In many ways, batches are similar to stored procedures; however, there are some differences:

  • batches do not have names

  • batches do not accept parameters

  • batches are not stored persistently in the database

  • batches cannot be shared by different connections

A simple batch consists of a set of SQL statements with no delimiters followed by a separate line with just the word go on it. The following example creates an Eastern Sales department and transfers all sales reps from Massachusetts to that department. It is an example of a Transact-SQL batch.

INSERT
INTO Departments ( DepartmentID, DepartmentName )
VALUES ( 220, 'Eastern Sales' )

UPDATE Employees
SET DepartmentID = 220
WHERE DepartmentID = 200
AND State = 'MA'

COMMIT
go

The word go is recognized by Interactive SQL and causes it to send the previous statements as a single batch to the server. See Executing multiple SQL statements.

The following example, while similar in appearance, is handled quite differently by Interactive SQL. This example does not use the Transact-SQL dialect. Each statement is delimited by a semicolon. Interactive SQL sends each semicolon-delimited statement separately to the server. It is not treated as a batch.

INSERT
INTO Departments ( DepartmentID, DepartmentName )
VALUES ( 220, 'Eastern Sales' );

UPDATE Employees
SET DepartmentID = 220
WHERE DepartmentID = 200
AND State = 'MA';

COMMIT;

To have Interactive SQL treat it as a batch, it can be changed into a compound statement using BEGIN ... END. The following is a revised version of the previous example. The three statements in the compound statement are sent as a batch to the server.

BEGIN
  INSERT
  INTO Departments ( DepartmentID, DepartmentName )
  VALUES ( 220, 'Eastern Sales' );

  UPDATE Employees
  SET DepartmentID = 220
  WHERE DepartmentID = 200
  AND State = 'MA';

  COMMIT;
END

In this particular example, it makes no difference to the end result whether a batch or individual statements are executed by the server. There are situations, though, where it can make a difference. Consider the following example.

DECLARE @CurrentID INTEGER;
SET @CurrentID = 207;
SELECT Surname FROM Employees
  WHERE EmployeeID=@CurrentID;

If you execute this example using Interactive SQL, the database server returns an error indicating that the variable cannot be found. This happens because Interactive SQL sends three separate statements to the server. They are not executed as a batch. As you have already seen, the remedy is to use a compound statement to force Interactive SQL to send these statements as a batch to the server. The following example accomplishes this.

BEGIN
  DECLARE @CurrentID INTEGER;
  SET @CurrentID = 207;
  SELECT Surname FROM Employees
    WHERE EmployeeID=@CurrentID;
END

Putting a BEGIN and END around a set of statements forces Interactive SQL to treat them as a batch.

The IF statement is another example of a compound statement. Interactive SQL sends the following statements as a single batch to the server.

IF EXISTS(   SELECT *
            FROM SYSTAB
            WHERE table_name='Employees' )
THEN
   SELECT   Surname AS LastName,
            GivenName AS FirstName
   FROM Employees;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Customers;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Contacts;
ELSE
   MESSAGE 'The Employees table does not exist'
   TO CLIENT;
END IF

This situation does not arise when using other techniques to prepare and execute SQL statements. For example, an application that uses ODBC can prepare and execute a series of semicolon-separated statements as a batch.

Care must be exercised when mixing Interactive SQL statements with SQL statements intended for the server. The following is an example of how mixing Interactive SQL statements and SQL statements can be an issue. In this example, since the Interactive SQL OUTPUT statement is embedded in the compound statement, it is sent along with all the other statements to the server as a batch, and results in a syntax error.

IF EXISTS(   SELECT *
            FROM SYSTAB
            WHERE table_name='Employees' )
THEN
   SELECT   Surname AS LastName,
            GivenName AS FirstName
   FROM Employees;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Customers;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Contacts;
   OUTPUT TO 'c:\\temp\\query.txt';
ELSE
   MESSAGE 'The Employees table does not exist'
   TO CLIENT;
END IF

The correct placement of the OUTPUT statement is shown below.

IF EXISTS(   SELECT *
            FROM SYSTAB
            WHERE table_name='Employees' )
THEN
   SELECT   Surname AS LastName,
            GivenName AS FirstName
   FROM Employees;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Customers;
   SELECT Surname, GivenName
   FROM Contacts;   
ELSE
   MESSAGE 'The Employees table does not exist'
   TO CLIENT;
END IF;
OUTPUT TO 'c:\\temp\\query.txt';