Cursor adapters with complex select statement
Monday, November 21st, 2016
Rafael Copquin, Estudio Copquin
Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor; Fox programmer since 1987, starting with FPD and upgrading to VFP. Vast experience in conversions from FPD to VFP, specialized in business and accounting systems. Member of the Microsoft Users Group of Argentina's Board of Directors as Treasurer.
This article demonstrates an ability to parse the select command passed as a parameter, for the development of a cursor adapter that can be used to retrieve records form a SQL Server engine. The class analyzes the select statement and creates the updatablefieldlist, updatenamelist and cursorschema thus enabling the creation of the cursor adapter.
Ever since the appearance of the cursor adapter class in Visual Foxpro 8, I began using it very frequently, because of its obvious usefulness and the fact that it could replace very efficiently both local or remote views.

However, the cursor adapter builder shipped with Visual FoxPro could only create a CA from a single table, with no joins at all and not even a where clause.

The result was that we had to build the cursor adapters by hand, a process that is involved and makes the programmer very prone to error before he gets it right and makes it work.

A few years ago I developed a class to generate cursor adapters automatically, but then it would only accept a single table select statement and in addition worked only with DBFs.

The class, published by the UniversalThread in early April 2006, has been revamped and updated. It now works with any complex select statement and can be used with SQL Server.

Here is a link to that article:

Here is the code which contains interspersed explanations where applicable.


** Author: Rafael Copquin from Buenos Aires, Argentina
** November 2016

** this class works with SQL SERVER. 

** Example of use:

** Set Procedure to ..\cabuilder.prg additive

*!*	Text to cCmd textmerge noshow flags 2 pretext 15

*!*	Select p.idpurchases,p.purch_date,p.code,p.qty,p.cost,i.iditem,i.descrip as item_name
*!*	from purchases p join items i on p.itemid = i.iditem
*!*	order by p.purch_date,p.code

*!*	endtext

*!*	thisform.oCurAd = CreateObject('cabuilder',thisform.nHandle,cCmd,'curPurchases','p = purchases , i = items',.t.)


lOK = .t.
cTablesList = ''
cKeyFieldsList = ''
cUFL = ''
cUNL = ''
cSCH = ''
nHandle = -1

DataSession  = 1            && public data session

PROCEDURE INIT(tnHandle,tcCmd,tcAlias,tBaseTables,tlTransactions)

this.nHandle = tnHandle




Lparameters tcCmd,tcAlias,tBaseTables,tlTransactions

** generates a cursor adapter of one or several tables, empty or not, as per the WHERE sentence

Local cSCH,cUFL,cUNL,cCmd

this.lOK = .T.

cCmd = tcCmd


cUFL = This.cUFL       && updatable field list
cUNL = This.cUNL       && update name list	
cSCH = This.cSCH	   && table schema	

this.lOK = .T.


    Use in Select(tcAlias)

    If PemStatus(this,'oCA',5) = .T.

	This.oCA = Createobject("cursoradapter")

Catch To oError

	Messagebox("The CursorAdapter object could not be generated"+;

	this.lOK = .F.


If this.lOK = .F.

If this.lOK = .T.

		With This.oCA
    		        .DataSourceType     = "ODBC"
	                .DataSource         = this.nHandle
		        .Alias 				= tcAlias
		        .Tables 			= this.cTablesList
		        .KeyFieldList       = this.cKeyFieldsList
			.BufferModeOverride = 5
			.SendUpdates 		= .t.
			.usetransactions    = tlTransactions   
			.SelectCmd 			= cCmd
			.UpdatableFieldList = cUFL
			.UpdateNameList 	= cUNL
			.usecursorschema    = .t.
			.CursorSchema       = cSCH

       Select (this.oCA.alias)
	Catch To oError

        MessageBox( = 'Cursor '+tcAlias+' could not be generated'+Chr(13)+oError.Message),16,'Attention',3000)

		this.lOK = .F.




Lparameters tcCmd,tBaseTables

Local cCmd,nHandle,cFieldName,cFieldType,nFieldLen,nFieldDec,cUFL,cUNL,cSCH,;

Store '' to cCmd,cFieldName,cFieldType,cUFL,cUNL,cSCH,cBaseTables,cColumnName,cField,cKeyFieldsList,cLeft,cTable,cTablesList
Store 0 to nHandle,nFieldLen,nFieldDec

Create Cursor curAssignments(col_name C(30),original C(60),suffix C(30),assigned C(30))

cBaseTables = tBaseTables   && [ example: (p = purchases , i = items) or (purchases,items) ]
cCmd = tcCmd

nHandle = this.nHandle

** find all key fields to build the cKeyFieldsList string

For w = 1 to GetWordCount(cBaseTables,[,])
    X = GetWordNum(cBaseTables,w,[,])
    Y = At([=],X)
    If Y > 0
       cTable = Alltrim(Substr(Alltrim(X),Y+1))
       cTable = X

    cTablesList = cTablesList + cTable+[,]

    Use in Select('curStructure')
    SQLColumns(nHandle,(cTable),[NATIVE],'curStructure')  && see note 3) at the end of this class

    Select curStructure

	***fields column_name ,type_name ,column_size ,decimal_digits are fields of curStructure

	Locate for Lower(Alltrim(type_name)) ='int identity'
	If Found()
	   cKeyFieldsList = cKeyFieldsList + Alltrim(column_name)+[,]


** remove the comma from the end of the string

this.cKeyFieldsList = Substr(cKeyFieldsList,1,Len(Alltrim(cKeyFieldsList))-1) 
this.cTablesList    = Substr(cTablesList,1,Len(Alltrim(cTablesList))-1)   

Use in Select('curStructure')

*** the following builds the cUNL string

For i = 1 to getwordcount(cCmd)

    cColumnName = GetWordNum(cCmd,i,[,])
    If 'select' $ Lower(cColumnName)
       cColumnName = Alltrim(Substr(cColumnName,8))		&& remove the word "select" from the select statement
    cField = cField + cColumnName+ [,]


cField = Left(Alltrim(cField),N-2)		&& remove everything that follows the word FROM

** buid the cursor with the suffix (eg: purchases.code or p.code--- the suffix is either purchases or c.)

For k = 1 to GetWordCount(cField,[,])

    cColumnName = Alltrim(GetWordNum(cField,k,[,]))
    S = At( [.] , cColumnName)
    If S > 0
       Insert into curAssignments(col_name,suffix) ;
       values(Substr(cColumnName,S+1), Substr(cColumnName,1,S-1))
       If GetWordCount( Alltrim(cColumnName),[ ]) = 3
          Select curAssignments
          replace original with GetWordNum(Alltrim(col_name),1,[ ])

Select curAssignments

Scan all

    If Left(Alltrim(col_name),1) = [.]

       replace col_name with Substr(Alltrim(col_name),2)


    If GetWordCount(col_name,' ') > 1
       ** this is for the special case of, for instance, DESCRIP AS ITEM_NAME. Results in ITEM_NAME
       replace col_name with GetWordNum(col_name,3,' ')		

** place in the ASSIGNED field the field name in the select statement without the suffix

If Vartype(cBaseTables) = 'C' and Len(Alltrim(cBaseTables)) > 0
	Scan all
	    cPrefix = Alltrim(suffix)
	    For z = 1 to GetWordCount(cBaseTables,[,])
	        A = GetWordNum(cBaseTables,z,[,])
	        R = At([=],A)
	        If R > 0
		        cLeft = Alltrim(Substr(Alltrim(A),1,R-1))
		        If cPrefix = cLeft
	              replace assigned with Substr(Alltrim(A),R+1)
                replace assigned with Alltrim(suffix)

** this puts the original field name of the table in the cUNL string
** Eg: items.descrip as item_name
** the cUNL string would contain: item_name  items.descrip

Select curAssignments
Scan all
     If Empty(original)
        replace original with col_name

** build the cUNL string

Scan all

    cUNL = cUNL + Alltrim(col_name)+' '+Alltrim(assigned)+[.]+Alltrim(original)+[,] 


** the following builds the strings cSCH and cUFL

Use in Select('curAux')


Select curAux


Use in Select('curAux')

For j = 1 to Alen(acol_names,1)

   cFieldName = Lower(acol_names(j,1))
   cFieldType = upper(acol_names(j,2))
   nFieldLen  = acol_names(j,3)
   nFieldDec  = acol_names(j,4)
   cUFL = cUFL + cFieldName+[,]	

   cSCH = cSCH + cFieldName+[ ]+cFieldType

   Do case
	  Case InList(cFieldType,[C],[D],[I],[T])
	       cSCH = cSCH + [(] +Transform(nFieldLen) +[)]
	  Case cFieldType = [N]
	       cSCH = cSCH + [(] +Transform(nFieldLen)+[,]+Transform(nFieldDec) +[)]
	  Case cFieldType = [M]
	       cSCH = cSCH + [(] +Transform(8000) +[)]
   cSCH = cSCH + [,]


** remove the comma from the end of the string

this.cSCH = Substr(cSCH,1,Len(Alltrim(cSch))-1)   && schema
this.cUNL = Substr(cUNL,1,Len(Alltrim(cUNL))-1)   && updatenamelist
this.cUFL = Substr(cUFL,1,Len(Alltrim(cUFL))-1)   && updatablefieldlist


  1. The select statement MUST contain the primary keys of all tables involved in the selection in the above example these are IDPURCHASES and IDITEM

  2. All fields of all tables in the select statement can be updated

  3. The following statement works with Microsoft SQLServer. It has not been tested with other DB Engines


    If you test it in MYSQL and it does not work, simply add as a parameter a list of all the primary keys in the select statement and assign it to the cKeyFieldsList string and discard the code associated with the search

  4. If you want the class to work with DBFs, send it a list of all keyfields of all tables in the select statement, discard the code to search for them as note 3) above and change the following properties in the CREATE_ADAPTER method:

    .DataSourceType = "NATIVE"
    .DataSource = ''


I trust it will be useful for the creation of cursor adapters on the fly, thus avoiding the complexities entailed by coding them manually.

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