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Differences between cursor and refcursor

Posted on 2003-11-24
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Last Modified: 2008-02-26
Please can anybody list out the differences between the Cursor and REFCursor.

Preparing for an interview.. Please list out any other related questions for interview purpose.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:king0452
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andrewst earned 1000 total points
ID: 9809814
A cursor is constant: it is linked to one defined query like this:

declare
  cursor c1 (p_deptno in emp.deptno%TYPE) is select ename from emp where deptno = p_deptno;
  ...

A ref cursor is a cursor variable: the actual query can be changed at runtime like this:

procedure p( param1 in number ) is
  type rc is ref cursor;
  c1 rc;
begin
  if param1 = 1 then
    open rc for select * from emp;
  else
    open rc for select * from dept;
  end if;
  ...

Ref cursors are also used in dynamic SQL, where the query is defined as a text string, like this:

procedure p( p_sql in varchar2 ) is
  type rc is ref cursor;
  c1 rc;
begin
  open rc for p_sql;
  ...
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