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A cursor is a name associated with a result set. The result set is obtained from a SELECT statement or stored procedure call.
A cursor is a handle on the result set. At any time, the cursor has a well-defined position within the result set. With a cursor, you can examine and possibly manipulate the data one row at a time. With a cursor, you can move forward and backward through the query results.
Cursors can be positioned in the following places:
Before the first row of the result set.
On a row in the result set.
After the last row of the result set.
The cursor position and result set are maintained in the database server. Rows are fetched by the client for display and processing either one at a time or a few at a time. The entire result set does not need to be delivered to the client.