Executing Stored Procedures and SQL Queries

Sophisticated control

When transferring data from or to a database table, you may need more sophisticated control over the data link than offered by the standard DatabaseTable interface. AIMMS offers you this additional control by letting you have access to stored procedures as well as letting you execute SQL statements directly. The following two paragraphs provide some examples where such control may be useful.

Useful for data processing

Your application may require its data in a somewhat different form than is directly available in the database. In this case you may have to perform some pre-processing of the data in the database. Similarly, you may want to perform post-processing in the database after writing data to it. In such circumstances you may call a stored procedure to perform these tasks for you.

Useful for dynamic access

In some cases, the required data for your application may need to be the result of a parameterized query of the database, i.e. a database table whose contents is dependent on one or more parameters which are only known during runtime. Such dynamic tables are usually obtained as the result set of a stored procedure or of a parameterized query. In this case AIMMS will allow you to use a stored procedure call or a dynamically composed SQL query inside the READ statement as if it were a database table. Please note that it’s currently not possible to read a result set from an Oracle stored procedure, since Oracle uses a non-standard mechanism for that (involving so-called ref cursors).

The DatabaseProcedure declaration

Every stored procedure or SQL query that you want to call from within AIMMS must be declared as a DatabaseProcedure within your application. The attributes of a DatabaseProcedure are listed in this table.


Value type

See also page



The Datasource attribute



Calls to Procedures and Functions







The Owner attribute





The Mapping attribute


comment string

The Text and Comment attributes



The Convention attribute, Globally Overriding Units Through Conventions

SQL query or stored procedure

A DatabaseProcedure in AIMMS can represent either a (dynamically created) SQL query or a call to a stored procedure. AIMMS makes the distinction on the basis of the StoredProcedure and SQLQuery attributes. If the StoredProcedure attribute is nonempty, AIMMS assumes that the DatabaseProcedure represents a stored procedure and expects the SQLQuery attribute to be empty, and vice versa.

The StoredProcedure attribute

With the StoredProcedure attribute you can specify the name of the stored procedure within the ODBC data source that you want to be called. The StoredProcedure wizard will let you select any stored procedure name available within the specified ODBC data source. If the stored procedure that you want to call is not owned by yourself, or if there are name conflicts, you should specify the owner with the Owner attribute.

The SQLQuery attribute

You can use the SQLQuery attribute to specify the SQL query that you want to be executed when the DatabaseProcedure is called. The value of this attribute can be any string expression, allowing you to generate a dynamic SQL query using the arguments of the DatabaseProcedure.

The Arguments attribute

With the Arguments attribute you can indicate the list of scalar arguments of the database procedure. The specified arguments must have a matching declaration in a declaration section local to the DatabaseProcedure. If the DatabaseProcedure represents a stored procedure, the argument list is interpreted as the argument list of the stored procedure. When you use the StoredProcedure wizard, AIMMS will automatically enter the argument list, including their AIMMS prototype, for you. For a DatabaseProcedure representing an SQL query, you can use the arguments in composing the SQL query string.

Input-output type

For SQL queries all arguments must be Input arguments, as the query cannot modify them. For stored procedures, the StoredProcedure wizard will by default set the input-output type of each argument equal to its SQL input-output type. However, if you want to discard the result of any output argument, you can change its type to Input.

The Property attribute

With the Property attribute of a DatabaseProcedure you can indicate the intended use of the procedure.

  • When you do not specify the property UseResultSet, AIMMS lets you call the DatabaseProcedure as if it were an AIMMS procedure.

  • When you do specify the property UseResultSet, AIMMS lets you use the DatabaseProcedure as a parameterized table in the READ statement. In that case, you can also provide a Mapping attribute to specify the mapping from column names in the result set onto the corresponding AIMMS identifiers.

Stored procedure examples

The following declarations will make two stored procedures contained in the data source Topological Data available in your AIMMS application. The local declarations of all arguments are omitted for the sake of brevity. They are all assumed to be Input arguments.

DatabaseProcedure StoreSingleTransport {
    DataSource       : "Topological Data";
    StoredProcedure  : "SP_STORE_SINGLE_TRANSPORT";
    Arguments        : (from, to, transport);
DatabaseProcedure SelectTransportNetwork {
    DataSource       : "Topological Data";
    StoredProcedure  : "SP_DISTANCE";
    Arguments        : MaxDistance;
    Property         : UseResultSet;
    Mapping          : {
        "from"        --> i,
        "to"          --> j,
        "dist"        --> Distance(i,j),
        ("from","to") --> Routes

The procedure StoreSingleTransport can be used like any other AIMMS procedure, as in the following statement.

StoreSingleTransport( 'Amsterdam', 'Rotterdam',
                      Transport('Amsterdam', 'Rotterdam') );

The second procedure SelectTransportNetwork can be used in a READ statement as if it were a database table, as illustrated below.

read from table SelectTransportNetwork( UserSelectedDistance );

SQL query example

The following example illustrates the declaration of a DatabaseProcedure representing a direct SQL query. Its aim is to delete those records in the specified table for which the column VersionCol equals the specified version. Both arguments must be declared as local Input string parameters.

DatabaseProcedure DeleteTableVersion {
    DataSource  : "Topological Data";
    Arguments   : (DeleteTable, DeleteVersion);
    SQLQuery    : {
        FormatString( "DELETE FROM %s WHERE VersionCol = '%s'",
                      DeleteTable, DeleteVersion )

Executing SQL statements directly

In addition to executing SQL queries through DatabaseProcedure, AIMMS also allows you to execute SQL statements directly within a data source. The interface for this mechanism is simple, and forms a convenient alternative for a DatabaseProcedure when you want to execute a single SQL statement only once.

The procedure DirectSQL

You can send SQL statements to a data source by calling the procedure DirectSQL with the following prototype:

Both arguments of the procedure should be string expressions. Note that in case the SQL statement also produces a result set, then this set is ignored by AIMMS.


The following call to DirectSQL drops a table called "Temporary_Table from the data source Topological Data".

DirectSQL( "Topological Data",
           "DROP TABLE Temporary_Table" );

Use FormatString

The procedure DirectSQL does not offer direct capabilities for parameterizing the SQL string with AIMMS data. Instead, you can use the function FormatString to construct symbolic SQL statements with terms based on AIMMS identifiers.