Open method (ADO Recordset)

Applies to: Access 2013, Office 2013

Opens a cursor.


recordset.OpenSource, ActiveConnection, CursorType, LockType, Options


Parameter Description
Source Optional. A Variant that evaluates to a valid Command object, an SQL statement, a table name, a stored procedure call, a URL, or the name of a file or Stream object containing a persistently stored Recordset.
ActiveConnection Optional. Either a Variant that evaluates to a valid Connection object variable name, or a String that contains ConnectionString parameters.
CursorType Optional. A CursorTypeEnum value that determines the type of cursor that the provider should use when opening the Recordset. The default value is adOpenForwardOnly.
LockType Optional. A LockTypeEnum value that determines what type of locking (concurrency) the provider should use when opening the Recordset. The default value is adLockReadOnly.
Options Optional. A Long value that indicates how the provider should evaluate the Source argument if it represents something other than a Command object, or that the Recordset should be restored from a file where it was previously saved. Can be one or more CommandTypeEnum or ExecuteOptionEnum values, which can be combined with a bitwise AND operator.


If you open a Recordset from a Stream containing a persisted Recordset, using an ExecuteOptionEnum value of adAsyncFetchNonBlocking will not have an effect; the fetch will be synchronous and blocking.

The ExecuteOpenEnum values of adExecuteNoRecords or adExecuteStream should not be used with Open.


The default cursor for an ADO Recordset is a forward-only, read-only cursor located on the server.

Using the Open method on a Recordset object opens a cursor that represents records from a base table, the results of a query, or a previously saved Recordset.

Use the optional Source argument to specify a data source using one of the following: a Command object variable, an SQL statement, a stored procedure, a table name, a URL, or a complete file path name. If Source is a file path name, it can be a full path ("c:\dir\file.rst"), a relative path ("..\file.rst"), or a URL ("https://files/file.rst").

It is not a good idea to use the Source argument of the Open method to perform an action query that doesnt return records because there is no easy way to determine whether the call succeeded. The Recordset returned by such a query will be closed. Call the Execute method of a Command object or the Execute method of a Connection object instead to perform a query that, such as a SQL INSERT statement, that doesnt return records.

The ActiveConnection argument corresponds to the ActiveConnection property and specifies in which connection to open the Recordset object. If you pass a connection definition for this argument, ADO opens a new connection using the specified parameters. After opening the Recordset with a client-side cursor (CursorLocation = adUseClient), you can change the value of this property to send updates to another provider. Or you can set this property to Nothing (in Microsoft Visual Basic) or NULL to disconnect the Recordset from any provider. Changing ActiveConnection for a server-side cursor generates an error, however.

For the other arguments that correspond directly to properties of a Recordset object (Source, CursorType, and LockType), the relationship of the arguments to the properties is as follows:

  • The property is read/write before the Recordset object is opened.
  • The property settings are used unless you pass the corresponding arguments when executing the Open method. If you pass an argument, it overrides the corresponding property setting, and the property setting is updated with the argument value.
  • After you open the Recordset object, these properties become read-only.


The ActiveConnection property is read only for Recordset objects whose Source property is set to a valid Command object, even if the Recordset object isn't open.

If you pass a Command object in the Source argument and also pass an ActiveConnection argument, an error occurs. The ActiveConnection property of the Command object must already be set to a valid Connection object or connection string.

If you pass something other than a Command object in the Source argument, you can use the Options argument to optimize evaluation of the Source argument. If the Options argument is not defined, you may experience diminished performance because ADO must make calls to the provider to determine if the argument is an SQL statement, a stored procedure, a URL, or a table name. If you know what Source type you're using, setting the Options argument instructs ADO to jump directly to the relevant code. If the Options argument does not match the Source type, an error occurs.

If you pass a Stream object in the Source argument, you should not pass information into the other arguments. Doing so will generate an error. The ActiveConnection information is not retained when a Recordset is opened from a Stream.

The default for the Options argument is adCmdFile if no connection is associated with the Recordset. This will typically be the case for persistently stored Recordset objects.

If the data source returns no records, the provider sets both the BOF and EOF properties to True, and the current record position is undefined. You can still add new data to this empty Recordset object if the cursor type allows it.

When you have concluded your operations over an open Recordset object, use the Close method to free any associated system resources. Closing an object does not remove it from memory; you can change its property settings and use the Open method to open it again later. To completely eliminate an object from memory, set the object variable to Nothing.

Before the ActiveConnection property is set, call Open with no operands to create an instance of a Recordset created by appending fields to the Recordset Fields collection.

If you have set the CursorLocation property to adUseClient, you can retrieve rows asynchronously in one of two ways. The recommended method is to set Options to adAsyncFetch. Alternatively, you can use the "Asynchronous Rowset Processing" dynamic property in the Properties collection, but related retrieved events can be lost if you do not set the Options parameter to adAsyncFetch.


Background fetching in the MS Remote provider is supported only through the Open method's Options parameter.


URLs using the http scheme will automatically invoke the Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Internet Publishing. For more information, see Absolute and relative URLs.