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Cursors are used by database programmers to process individual rows returned by database system queries.

Cursors are used by database programmers to process individual rows returned by database system queries. Cursors enable manipulation of whole result sets at once. In this scenario, a cursor enables the rows in a result set to be processed sequentially.

In SQL procedures, a cursor makes it possible to define a result set (a set of data rows) and perform complex logic on a row by row basis. By using the same mechanics, a SQL procedure can also define a result set and return it directly to the caller of the SQL procedure or to a client application.

A cursor can be viewed as a pointer to one row in a set of rows. The cursor can only reference one row at a time, but can move to other rows of the result set as needed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cursor_%28databases%29

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