Blocking clause in a 'For each' command

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When throughput is an issue and you need to update or delete a large number of records, reducing the number of roundtrips to the DBMS may be the answer. See an overview at Blocking Data Updates.

The differences in performance between optimized update/delete, single-record update/delete and block update/delete are quite important. Optimized update/delete usually delivers the best performance, as it only requires one trip to the server. The worst case is usually single-record update/delete, as it requires as many as two roundtrips to the server for every record involved. Block update/delete is usually a good alternative to single-record update/delete if optimization is not possible.


The Blocking clause in a For Each group, as described below, activates update and/or delete blocking in a For Each command. The NumericExpression specifies the number of records in each block

For each
   [Order ... ] [Where ... ] [defined by ... ]
   [Blocking NumericExpression]
   /* Delete Code */ 
   /* Update Code */ 
When None
   /* When none code */


For each
    Where Att1 < Value1
          Blocking 100
          Att2 = Value2 
    When none 


When the Blocking clause is specified, the code generator will be similar to the following:

For each
     Add record to block (Update or delete code)
     NumberOfRecordsUpd += 1 or NumberOfRecordsDel += 1 (dependant of Update or Delete code)
     If NumberOfRecordsUpd = NumericExpression
        Update Record Block 
        NumberOfRecordsUpd = 0
     If NumberOfRecordsDel >= NumericExpression
        Delete Record Block 
        NumberOfRecordsDel = 0
  When none      
     /* Here goes When none */
  • If Blocking is specified and no updates and/or deletes are performed, it will be ignored.
  • Block size applies to deletes and updates. You cannot specify a different number for each.
  • Implementation uses different blocks for updates and deletes. One may be filled before the other. For example, there may be 5 updates and only 1 delete executed. If the Block size is, say, 5, then the update block is sent to the server but the delete block is not.
  • Executing a Commit within the scope of the group causes all pending updates/deletes to be sent to the server. That is, do not issue a Commit command for every record processed, as Blocking will not make any difference in performance.
  • Executing a Rollback within the scope of the group causes all pending to be cleared, so they will never be sent to the server.


  • This clause is supported by the DBMSes: SQLServer, Oracle.