On Cursors and ISAM Databases

People porting ISAM or local database applications to SQL Server are often tempted to perform shallow ports—to make no more changes than absolutely necessary to get the app working on the new DBMS. This usually involves shortcuts like replacing ISAM record navigation (e.g., ADO's Recordset.MoveNext) with Transact-SQL cursor loops. ISAM records and SQL Server cursors aren't synonymous, and any effort to treat an RDBMS like an ISAM product is likely to go down in flames.

Some time ago, I had the misfortune of assuming the task of porting an ISAM database application to a full-blown SQL Server app. I was trying to get the company to move to client/server RDBMS technology and after months of ambivalence they finally ...

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