7.2.2.ISQL Commands

<SQL_command> &

Spawns a new copy of ISQL as a background OS process to execute the command. The new copy will make its own connection and will terminate after the command completes. The isql instance which received the command prompts for the next command without waiting for the spawned isql instance

! <command> (;|&)

Executes an OS command


sets the ISQL variable or associative array U value, if it is recognized as such. Otherwise passed to the server.


SET U{test} 5; sets the associative array U's 'test' to have value of 5


shows the value of an ISQL option, if it is recognized as such. Otherwise passed to the server.


no-operation. Useful sometimes in an $IF command.


echoes it's arguments into the specifies output stream (defaults to STDOUT if not specified) If ECHOLN is used it appends a new line after the last character printed.


Waits for background ISQL subcommands spawned by specifying an & instead of ; at the end of the statement.

LOAD <file_name>

Executes each statement of the specified file. Statements end in a semicolon or at the closing curly brace for procedure or trigger definitions.

HELP [<isql-command>]

Prints general or command specific help texts.


Exits ISQL

EXIT NOT is a NO-OP, allowing statements like: EXIT $IF $EQU $ARGV[0] 10 $ARGV[0] NOT; which exits with exit code 10 if $ARGV[0] is ten (presumably keeping a some-kind of failure counter) but otherwise does nothing special, and continues from the next statement.

SLEEP [<seconds>]

sleeps for the specified number of seconds or until an OS signal arrives. If seconds is not specified it's considered 0 and the behavior is OS dependent (the OS sleep function on Unixes, Sleep() in the Windows API).

CONNECT [<conn_str>]

Without arguments forces the connection to be made with an ordinary way with SQLConnect and so-far specified connection details. With an argument uses SQLDriverConnect, giving that argument as a connection string (e.g. "DSN=Virtuoso;UID=DBA,PWD=DBA") If we are already connected, then is just NO-OP which is silently ignored.


Returns all defined table qualifiers.


Returns existing table owners list.


Returns list of current table types.


If the ISQL is already connected then disconnects. After that it tries connecting to the same data source, but with using its argument as a user name. If none specified it gets the user name/password from the UID and PWD ISQL variables.

        [FOLLOWING|IN (-|-b|<file_name>)|BETWEEN <n1> <n2>]
        <statement_with_params> <statement_with_params> ... [END]

This command executes the <statement_with_params> in a loop, after binding the parameters specified in it to values specified in the command.

Parameters are specified as follows :

? - an ordinary parameter bound to the foreach value
?C - the count of successful operations
LINE processes the input line by line
INTEGER converts the input into integer and then processes it.
BLOB reads the entire input and sets it as an blob parameter using SQLPutData
TIMESTAMP is the same as LINE, bit binds to a TIMESTAMP SQL Type
DATE is the same as LINE, but binds to a DATE SQL Type
TIME is the same as LINE, bit binds to a TIME SQL Type
IN specifies a set of items terminated by an END
BETWEEN specifies integer set starting from n1 and ending on n2
FOLLOWING as as IN but skips the input till the END keyword


foreach integer between 1 10 insert into num_tb values (?);

Inserts 10 rows from 1 to 10 into the num_tb

foreach line in my_text_file.txt insert into str_tb (line_no, data) values (?C, ?);

Inserts each line of the text file my_text_file.txt into str_tb's data column and puts line number in line_no column

foreach blob in my_text_file.txt insert into file_tb values (?);

inserts a row into the file_tb with the contents of the my_text_file.txt as a single blob value.


Passes this through to the server as a command

CALL <SQL statement>

Tries to bind & print the SQL_RETURN_VALUE and display multiple resultsets (if any) after executing the statement.

COLUMNS [<table_mask>][/<column_mask>]

Calls SQLColumns ODBC

TABLES [<table_mask>]

Calls SQLTables ODBC

PRIMARYKEYS [<table_mask>]

Calls SQLPrimaryKeys ODBC

COLUMNPRIVILEGES [<table_mask>]/[<procedure_column_mask>]

Calls SQLColumnPrivileges ODBC

PROCEDURES [<procedure_mask>]

Calls SQLProcedures ODBC

PROCEDURECOLUMNS [<procedure_mask>]/[<procedure_column_mask>]

Calls SQLProcedureColumns ODBC

TABLEPRIVILEGES [<table_mask>]

Calls SQLTablePrivileges ODBC



STATISTICS [<table_mask>] [/U]

Calls SQLStatistics ODBC. U means show only unique indexes otherwise all

SPECIALCOLUMNS [<table_mask>] [/(B?S?T?N?)]

Calls SQLSpecialColumns ODBC.

B means BEST_ROWID, otherwise ROWVER.
S means Session scope, T means transaction scope, otherwise current row.
N means No Nulls, otherwise Nullable.