The SET statement is the syntax that specifies a system parameter’s value or user-defined variables.

System Parameter

You can define a value of a system parameter with SQL syntax by CSQL interpreter or a query editor of CUBRID Manager. However, be cautious that updatable parameters are limited. For the information of updatable parameters, see cubrid.conf Configuration File and Default Parameters.

SET SYSTEM PARAMETERS 'parameter_name=value [{; name=value}...]'

DEFAULT for value will reset the parameter to its default value with an exception of call_stack_dump_activation_list parameter.


User Variables

You can create user-defined variables in two ways. One is to use the SET statement and the other is to use the assignment statement of user-defined variables within SQL statements. You can delete the user-defined variables that you defined with the DEALLOCATE or the DROP statements.

The user-defined variables are also called session variables as they are used for maintaining connections within one application. The user-defined variables are used within the part of a connection session, and the user-defined variables defined by an application cannot be accessed by other applications. When an application terminates connections, all variables will be removed automatically. The user-defined variables are limited to twenty per connection session for an application. If you already have twenty user-defined variables and want to define a new user-defined variable, you must remove some variables with the DROP VARIABLE statement.

You can use user-defined variables in most SQL statements. If you define user-defined variables and refer to them in one statement, the sequence is not guaranteed. That is, if you refer to the variables specified in the SELECT list of the HAVING, GROUP BY or ORDER BY clause, you may not get the values in the sequence you expect. You cannot also use user-defined variables as identifiers, such as column names or table names within SQL statements

The user-defined variables are not case-sensitive. The user-defined variable type can be one of the SHORT, INTEGER, BIGINT, FLOAT, DOUBLE, NUMERIC, CHAR, VARCHAR, BIT and BIT VARYING. Other types will be converted to the VARCHAR type.

SET @v1 = 1, @v2=CAST(1 AS BIGINT), @v3 = '123', @v4 = DATE'2010-01-01';

SELECT typeof(@v1), typeof(@v2), typeof(@v3), typeof(@v4);
   typeof(@v1)         typeof(@v2)         typeof(@v3)         typeof(@v4)
  'integer'           'bigint'            'character (-1)'    'character varying (1073741823)

The user-defined variables can be changed when you define values.

SET @v = 'a';
SET @v1 = 10;

SELECT @v := 1, typeof(@v1), @v1:='1', typeof(@v1);
  @v := 1                typeof(@v1)          @v1 := '1'             typeof(@v1)
  1                     'integer'             '1'                    'character (-1)'
        : <set_statement>, <udf_assignment>
        | SET <udv_assignment>

        : @<name> = <expression>
        | @<name> := <expression>

{DEALLOCATE|DROP} VARIABLE <variable_name_list>
       : <variable_name_list> ',' @<name>
  • You must define the variable names with alphanumeric characters and underscores (_).

  • When you define the variables within SQL statements, you should use the ‘:=’ operator.

The following example shows how to define the variable a and assign a value 1 to it.

SET @a = 1;

The following example shows how to count the number of rows in the SELECT statement by using the user-defined variable.

INSERT INTO t(i) VALUES(2),(4),(6),(8);

SET @a = 0;

SELECT @a := @a+1 AS row_no, i FROM t;
  row_no                          i
  1                               2
  2                               4
  3                               6
  4                               8

4 rows selected.

The following example shows how to use the user-defined variable as the input of bind parameter specified in the prepared statement.

SET @a:=3;


The following example shows how to declare the user-defined variable by using the ‘:=’ operator.

SELECT @a := 1, @user_defined_variable := 'user defined variable';
UPDATE t SET i = (@var := 1);

The following example shows how to delete the user-defined variable a and user_defined_variable.

DEALLOCATE VARIABLE @a, @user_defined_variable;
DROP VARIABLE @a, @user_defined_variable;


The user-defined variables that are defined by the SET statement start by connecting an application to a server and will be maintained until the application terminates the connection. The connection maintained during this period is called a session. When an application terminates the connection or when there are no requests for a certain period of time, the session will expire, and the user-defined variables will be deleted as a result. You can set the session time with the session_state_timeout parameter of cubrid.conf; the default value is 21600 seconds (=6 hours).

The data managed by the session includes PREPARE statements, the user-defined variables, the last ID inserted (LAST_INSERT_ID) and the number of rows affected by the statement that you execute at the end (ROW_COUNT).