The DBMS_SQL.CLOSE_CURSOR procedure is part of Oracle’s DBMS_SQL package, which provides a way to use dynamic SQL in PL/SQL. Dynamic SQL is a programming technique that allows you to build SQL statements dynamically at runtime, rather than having the SQL statements hard-coded in the application. This can be particularly useful for writing flexible code that can adapt to different conditions without needing to be rewritten.


The CLOSE_CURSOR procedure is used to close a cursor that was opened and used for dynamic SQL operations. Closing cursors when they are no longer needed is crucial for resource management in the database. Open cursors consume memory and, if not properly closed, can lead to unnecessary consumption of resources and potentially impact database performance.


The basic syntax for the DBMS_SQL.CLOSE_CURSOR procedure is as follows:


Where c is the cursor identifier (a number) that was previously opened using DBMS_SQL.OPEN_CURSOR and used in subsequent operations such as PARSE, EXECUTE, and FETCH.

How to Use

Opening a Cursor: Before you can close a cursor, you must first open it using DBMS_SQL.OPEN_CURSOR.

Executing Dynamic SQL: After opening the cursor, you use it to parse and execute dynamic SQL statements. This might involve executing a select statement, performing DML operations, etc.

Fetching Data: If your dynamic SQL operation involves a SELECT statement, you would fetch the data using the cursor.

Closing the Cursor: Once you have completed your operations and fetched all necessary data (if applicable), you should close the cursor using DBMS_SQL.CLOSE_CURSOR. This releases the resources allocated to the cursor.


  cur_id  NUMBER;
  v_sql   VARCHAR2(1000);
  -- Open a cursor

  -- Build and execute a dynamic SQL statement
  v_sql := 'SELECT * FROM employees WHERE department_id = :1';
  DBMS_SQL.BIND_VARIABLE(cur_id, ':1', 10);
  -- Additional code to define columns, execute, and fetch data as needed

  -- Close the cursor when done

In this example, a cursor is opened, used to execute a dynamic SELECT statement that fetches employees from a specific department, and then closed after the operations are completed.

Best Practices

Always close cursors to free up resources.
Use exception handling to ensure cursors are closed even if an error occurs during processing.
Consider the scope of your operations to manage cursors efficiently.
Closing cursors when they are no longer required helps in managing the server’s resources effectively and ensures the smooth operation of your Oracle database applications.