A cursor is a control structure for traversing records in a database.

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In computer science and technology, a database cursor is a control structure that enables traversal over the records in a database. Cursors facilitate subsequent processing in conjunction with the traversal, such as retrieval, addition and removal of database records. The database cursor characteristic of traversal makes cursors akin to the programming language concept of iterator.

Cursors are used by database programmers to process individual rows returned by database system queries. Cursors enable manipulation of whole result sets at once—a capability that most procedural programming languages lack. In this scenario, a cursor enables the rows in a result-set to be processed sequentially.

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