Binding Parameters

Each parameter marker in an SQL statement must be associated, or bound, to a variable in the application before the statement can be executed. This is done by calling the SQLBindParameter function. SQLBindParameter describes the program variable (address, C data type, and so on) to the driver. It also identifies the parameter marker by indicating its ordinal value and then describes the characteristics of the SQL object it represents (SQL data type, precision, and so on).

Parameter markers can be bound or rebound at any time before a statement is executed. A parameter binding remains in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • A call to SQLFreeStmt with the Option parameter set to SQL_RESET_PARAMS frees all parameters bound to the statement handle.

  • A call to SQLBindParameter with ParameterNumber set to the ordinal of a bound parameter marker automatically releases the previous binding.

An application can also bind parameters to arrays of program variables to process an SQL statement in batches. There are two types of array binding:

  • Column-wise binding is done when each individual parameter is bound to its own array of variables.

    Column-wise binding is specified by calling SQLSetStmtAttr with Attribute set to SQL_ATTR_PARAM_BIND_TYPE and ValuePtr set to SQL_PARAM_BIND_BY_COLUMN.

  • Row-wise binding is done when all of the parameters in the SQL statement are bound as a unit to an array of structures that contain the individual variables for the parameters.

    Row-wise binding is specified by calling SQLSetStmtAttr with Attribute set to SQL_ATTR_PARAM_BIND_TYPE and ValuePtr set to the size of the structure holding the program variables.

When the SQL Server Native Client ODBC driver sends character or binary string parameters to the server, it pads the values to the length specified in SQLBindParameter ColumnSize parameter. If an ODBC 2.x application specifies 0 for ColumnSize, the driver pads the parameter value to the precision of the data type. The precision is 8000 when connected to SQL Server servers, 255 when connected to earlier versions of SQL Server. ColumnSize is in bytes for variant columns.

SQL Server supports defining names for stored procedure parameters. ODBC 3.5 also introduced support for named parameters used when calling SQL Server stored procedures. This support can be used to:

  • Call a stored procedure and provide values for a subset of the parameters defined for the stored procedure.

  • Specify the parameters in a different order in the application than the order specified when the stored procedure was created.

Named parameters are only supported when using the Transact-SQL EXECUTE statement or the ODBC CALL escape sequence to execute a stored procedure.

If SQL_DESC_NAME is set for a stored procedure parameter, all stored procedure parameters in the query should also set SQL_DESC_NAME.  If literals are used in stored procedure calls, where parameters have SQL_DESC_NAME set, the literals should use the format 'name=value', where name is the stored procedure parameter name (for example, @p1). For more information, see Binding Parameters by Name (Named Parameters).

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