SQL Server Cursor Operators – Part6

Hi Geeks,

Today we are going to discuss about KEYSET cursor and if you missed out earlier posts on SQL Server Cursor operators, you can click Part1, Part2, Part3, Part4 and Part5 to read them before today’s post.

KEYSET cursor fetches a defined set of  keys as data defined within the cursor however allows the data may be updated during the cursor lifetime. We have a different execution plan for KEYSET cursor than DYNAMIC and STATIC cursors discussed earlier. Let me change the CURSOR definition first.

-- Database used in example is [AdventureWorks2012]
-- Please click on Display Estimated Execution Plan icon


SELECT SalesTerritory.Name FROM [Sales].[SalesTerritory]
WHERE SalesTerritory.[Group] LIKE '%America%'

OPEN TerritoryName

	FETCH NEXT FROM TerritoryName

CLOSE TerritoryName
DEALLOCATE TerritoryName



The estimated plan looks like above figure. The top most line (highlighted in RED) in the query plan containing Population Query looks similar to STATIC cursor. Compute Scalar operation (read Part1, Part2) added to check status for the row. It ends with Keyset Cursor operator which guarantees the cursor can see updates but not insert operations.

When we look at the right and top of the FETCH query definition (highlighted in BLUE), we could see that first it retrieves the key from created index in Population Query then to retrieve data it joins it with the help of Nested Loop operation (read Part1, Part2)  to SalesTerriroty table. This is how a KEYSET cursor manages to get updated data into the set returned when cursor is active.

The Constant Scan operator scans internal table containing constants. This feeds data into Clustered Index Update operator in order to change the data stored in case required. This is again joined with first set with the help of a Nested Loop operation and finishes with Compute Scalar.

We are not yet done and going to continue more tomorrow.

Happy Learning.



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About Kanchan Bhattacharyya

Kanchan is an astute IT professional, a seasoned SQL Database Administrator with 13+ years of industry experience. A calculated risk taker with deep technical knowledge and has gained proficiency in database consulting and solutions across different environments. Kanchan holds MBA degree in IT and an International Executive MBA in Project Management. He is very passionate about SQL Server and holds MCSE (Data Platform), MCSA – SQL 2012, MCITP – SQL 2008 certifications. Currently he is focusing on cloud and latest releases of SQL Server. When not working, Kanchan likes to spend his time reading on new technical developments specifically on SQL Server and other related technologies.

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