Provides some support for PostgreSQL cursors in ActiveRecord.
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ActiveRecord PostgreSQL Cursors

This extension allows you to loop through record sets using cursors in an Enumerable fashion. This allows you to cut down memory usage by only pulling in individual records on each loop rather than pulling everything into memory all at once.

To use a cursor, just change the first parameter to an ActiveRecord::Base.find to :cursor instead of :first or :all or whatever or use the ActiveRecord::Base.cursor method directly.

MyModel.find(:cursor, :conditions => 'some_column = true').each do |r| puts r.inspect end

MyModel.find(:cursor).collect { |r| / PI }.avg

MyModel.cursor.each do |r| puts r.inspect end

All ActiveRecord::Base.find options are available and should work as-is. As a bonus, the PostgreSQLCursor object returned includes Enumerable, so you can iterate to your heart's content.

This extension should work in both Rails 2.3 as well as Rails 3.

At the moment, this is a non-scrollable cursor – it will only fetch forward. Also note that these cursors are non-updateable/insensitive to updates to the underlying data. You can write to the records themselves, but changes outside of the cursor's transaction will not affect the data being retrieved from the point of the cursor's creation, or rather more specifically from the time you begin iterating.

The cursor itself is wrapped in a transaction as is required by PostgreSQL and the cursor name is automatically generated using random numbers or a name supplied during cursor creation. On raised SQL exceptions, the transaction is ABORTed and the cursor CLOSEd.

Associations are handled, so you can use :include in your find options. Of course, this requires some nonsense when moving the cursor around, but it works all the same. In some cases, pre-loading and eager loading of associations and whatnot creates an initial query that will grab the initial IDs of the model being fetched and then create the actual cursor query out of those large joins that ActiveRecord sometimes generates. This larger query will be the query that's wrapped in the transaction and in a cursor, while the first query is just used to build the larger joined query. This allows for a brief window between the point that the cursor query is created and the time it is executed. In these cases, it may be wise to wrap your use or cursors in your own transaction to ensure that changes made to the underlying data don't interfere with your cursor's visbility.