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FETCH

Name

FETCH  --  Gets rows using a cursor

Synopsis

FETCH [ direction ] [ count ] { IN | FROM } cursor
FETCH [ FORWARD | BACKWARD | RELATIVE ] [ # | ALL | NEXT | PRIOR ] { IN | FROM } cursor
  

Inputs

direction

selector defines the fetch direction. It can be one of the following:

FORWARD

fetch next row(s). This is the default if selector is omitted.

BACKWARD

fetch previous row(s).

RELATIVE

Noise word for SQL92 compatibility.

count

count determines how many rows to fetch. It can be one of the following:

#

A signed integer that specifies how many rows to fetch. Note that a negative integer is equivalent to changing the sense of FORWARD and BACKWARD.

ALL

Retrieve all remaining rows.

NEXT

Equivalent to specifying a count of 1.

PRIOR

Equivalent to specifying a count of -1.

cursor

An open cursor's name.

Outputs

FETCH returns the results of the query defined by the specified cursor. The following messages will be returned if the query fails:

NOTICE: PerformPortalFetch: portal "cursor" not found

If cursor is not previously declared. The cursor must be declared within a transaction block.

NOTICE: FETCH/ABSOLUTE not supported, using RELATIVE

Postgres does not support absolute positioning of cursors.

ERROR: FETCH/RELATIVE at current position is not supported

SQL92 allows one to repetitively retrieve the cursor at its "current position" using the syntax

FETCH RELATIVE 0 FROM cursor.
        

Postgres does not currently support this notion; in fact the value zero is reserved to indicate that all rows should be retrieved and is equivalent to specifying the ALL keyword. If the RELATIVE keyword has been used, Postgres assumes that the user intended SQL92 behavior and returns this error message.

Description

FETCH allows a user to retrieve rows using a cursor. The number of rows retrieved is specified by #. If the number of rows remaining in the cursor is less than #, then only those available are fetched. Substituting the keyword ALL in place of a number will cause all remaining rows in the cursor to be retrieved. Instances may be fetched in both FORWARD and BACKWARD directions. The default direction is FORWARD.

Tip: Negative numbers are allowed to be specified for the row count. A negative number is equivalent to reversing the sense of the FORWARD and BACKWARD keywords. For example, FORWARD -1 is the same as BACKWARD 1.

Notes

Note that the FORWARD and BACKWARD keywords are Postgres extensions. The SQL92 syntax is also supported, specified in the second form of the command. See below for details on compatibility issues.

Updating data in a cursor is not supported by Postgres, because mapping cursor updates back to base tables is not generally possible, as is also the case with VIEW updates. Consequently, users must issue explicit UPDATE commands to replace data.

Cursors may only be used inside of transactions because the data that they store spans multiple user queries.

Use MOVE to change cursor position. DECLARE will define a cursor. Refer to BEGIN, COMMIT, and ROLLBACK for further information about transactions.

Usage

The following examples traverses a table using a cursor.

-- Set up and use a cursor:

BEGIN WORK;
DECLARE liahona CURSOR FOR SELECT * FROM films;

-- Fetch first 5 rows in the cursor liahona:
FETCH FORWARD 5 IN liahona;

 code  |          title          | did | date_prod  |  kind    | len
-------+-------------------------+-----+------------+----------+-------
 BL101 | The Third Man           | 101 | 1949-12-23 | Drama    | 01:44
 BL102 | The African Queen       | 101 | 1951-08-11 | Romantic | 01:43
 JL201 | Une Femme est une Femme | 102 | 1961-03-12 | Romantic | 01:25
 P_301 | Vertigo                 | 103 | 1958-11-14 | Action   | 02:08
 P_302 | Becket                  | 103 | 1964-02-03 | Drama    | 02:28

-- Fetch previous row:
FETCH BACKWARD 1 IN liahona;

 code  | title   | did | date_prod  | kind   | len
-------+---------+-----+------------+--------+-------
 P_301 | Vertigo | 103 | 1958-11-14 | Action | 02:08

-- close the cursor and commit work:

CLOSE liahona;
COMMIT WORK;

Compatibility

SQL92

Note: The non-embedded use of cursors is a Postgres extension. The syntax and usage of cursors is being compared against the embedded form of cursors defined in SQL92.

SQL92 allows absolute positioning of the cursor for FETCH, and allows placing the results into explicit variables:

FETCH ABSOLUTE #
    FROM cursor
    INTO :variable [, ...]
    
ABSOLUTE

The cursor should be positioned to the specified absolute row number. All row numbers in Postgres are relative numbers so this capability is not supported.

:variable

Target host variable(s).

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