It is very common to find database applications that use cursors to process one row at a time. Because data manipulation through a cursor in SQL Server incurs significant additional overhead, database applications should avoid using cursors. T-SQL and SQL Server are designed to work best with sets of data, not one row at a time. Jeff Moden famously termed this type of processing RBAR (pronounced, ree-bar), meaning Row By Agonizing Row. However, if a cursor must be used, then use a cursor with the least cost.
In this chapter, I cover the following topics: