This article compares cursor approach and set approach using various examples.
September 18, 2008
Comparing Cursor and Set Approaches in Processing Relational Data
Author: JT Smith
MySQL introduced cursor in its release 5. You create a cursor to define a set of rows from one or more table that you want to access row-by-row sequentially. If your need is really to access the rows one at a time then use cursor. But a lot of data processing is actually set processing, and set processing is what relational database is best for.