PL/SQL Ref Cursor

A cursor variable is a cursor that contains a pointer to a query result set. The result set is determined by execution of the OPEN FOR statement using the cursor variable.

A cursor variable, unlike a static cursor, is not associated with a particular query. The same cursor variable can be opened a number of times with separate OPEN FOR statements containing different queries. A new result set is created each time and made available through the cursor variable.

Strong typed REF CURSOR

    TYPE customer_t IS REF CURSOR RETURN customers%ROWTYPE;
    c_customer customer_t;

This form of cursor variable called strong typed REF CURSOR because the cursor variable is always associated with a specific record structure, or type.

And here is an example of a weak typed REF CURSOR declaration that is not associated with any specific structure:

Weak typed REF CURSOR

    TYPE customer_t IS REF CURSOR;
    c_customer customer_t;

Starting from Oracle 9i, you can use SYS_REFCURSOR, which is a predefined weak typed REF CURSOR, to declare a weak REF CURSOR as follows:


The SYS_REFCURSOR data type is known as a weakly-typed REF CURSOR type. Strongly-typed cursor variables of the REF CURSOR type require a result set specification.



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