sp_cursor_list (Transact-SQL)

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO:yesSQL Server (starting with 2008)noAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

Reports the attributes of server cursors currently open for the connection.

|Applies to: SQL Server ( SQL Server 2008 through current version).|

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions


sp_cursor_list [ @cursor_return = ] cursor_variable_name OUTPUT   
     , [ @cursor_scope = ] cursor_scope  


[ @cursor_return= ] cursor_variable_nameOUTPUT
Is the name of a declared cursor variable. cursor_variable_name is cursor, with no default. The cursor is a scrollable, dynamic, read-only cursor.

[ @cursor_scope= ] cursor_scope
Specifies the level of cursors to report. cursor_scope is int, with no default, and can be one of these values.

Value Description
1 Report all local cursors.
2 Report all global cursors.
3 Report both local and global cursors.

Return Code Values


Cursors Returned

sp_cursor_list returns its report as a Transact-SQL cursor output parameter, not as a result set. This allows Transact-SQL batches, stored procedures, and triggers to work with the output one row at a time. It also means the procedure cannot be called directly from database API functions. The cursor output parameter must be bound to a program variable, but the database APIs do not support binding cursor parameters or variables.

This is the format of the cursor returned by sp_cursor_list. The format of the cursor is the same as the format returned by sp_describe_cursor.

Column name Data type Description
reference_name sysname The name used to refer to the cursor. If the reference to the cursor was through the name given on a DECLARE CURSOR statement, the reference name is the same as cursor name. If the reference to the cursor was through a variable, the reference name is the name of the cursor variable.
cursor_name sysname The name of the cursor from a DECLARE CURSOR statement. In SQL Server, if the cursor was created by setting a cursor variable to a cursor, cursor_name returns the name of the cursor variable. In previous releases, this output column returns a system-generated name.
cursor_scope smallint 1 = LOCAL

status smallint The same values as reported by the CURSOR_STATUS system function:

1 = The cursor referenced by the cursor name or variable is open. If the cursor is insensitive, static, or keyset, it has at least one row. If the cursor is dynamic, the result set has zero or more rows.

0 = The cursor referenced by the cursor name or variable is open but has no rows. Dynamic cursors never return this value.

-1 = The cursor referenced by the cursor name or variable is closed.

-2 = Applies only to cursor variables. There is no cursor assigned to the variable. Possibly, an OUTPUT parameter assigned a cursor to the variable, but the stored procedure closed the cursor before returning.

-3 = A cursor or cursor variable with the specified name does not exist, or the cursor variable has not had a cursor allocated to it.
model smallint 1 = Insensitive (or static)

2 = Keyset

3 = Dynamic

4 = Fast Forward
concurrency smallint 1 = Read-only

2 = Scroll locks

3 = Optimistic
scrollable smallint 0 = Forward-only

1 = Scrollable
open_status smallint 0 = Closed

1 = Open
cursor_rows int The number of qualifying rows in the result set. For more information, see @@CURSOR_ROWS.
fetch_status smallint The status of the last fetch on this cursor. For more information, see @@FETCH_STATUS:

0 = Fetch successful.

-1 = Fetch failed or is beyond the bounds of the cursor.

-2 = The requested row is missing.

-9 = There has been no fetch on the cursor.
column_count smallint The number of columns in the cursor result set.
row_count smallint The number of rows affected by the last operation on the cursor. For more information, see @@ROWCOUNT.
last_operation smallint The last operation performed on the cursor:

0 = No operations have been performed on the cursor.

1 = OPEN






cursor_handle int A unique value that identifies the cursor within the scope of the server.


sp_cursor_list produces a list of the current server cursors opened by the connection and describes the attributes global to each cursor, such as the scrollability and updatability of the cursor. The cursors listed by sp_cursor_list include:

  • Transact-SQL server cursors.

  • API server cursors opened by an ODBC application that is then called SQLSetCursorName to name the cursor.

    Use sp_describe_cursor_columns for a description of the attributes of the result set returned by the cursor. Use sp_describe_cursor_tables for a report of the base tables referenced by the cursor. sp_describe_cursor reports the same information as sp_cursor_list, but only for a specified cursor.


Execute permissions default to the public role.


The following example opens a global cursor and uses sp_cursor_list to report on the attributes of the cursor.

USE AdventureWorks2012;  
-- Declare and open a keyset-driven cursor.  
SELECT LastName  
FROM Person.Person  
WHERE LastName LIKE 'S%';  
OPEN abc;  

-- Declare a cursor variable to hold the cursor output variable  
-- from sp_cursor_list.  

-- Execute sp_cursor_list into the cursor variable.  
EXEC master.dbo.sp_cursor_list @cursor_return = @Report OUTPUT,  
      @cursor_scope = 2;  

-- Fetch all the rows from the sp_cursor_list output cursor.  
FETCH NEXT from @Report;  
   FETCH NEXT from @Report;  

-- Close and deallocate the cursor from sp_cursor_list.  
CLOSE @Report;  

-- Close and deallocate the original cursor.  
CLOSE abc;  

See Also

System Stored Procedures (Transact-SQL)