Sakai's BasicSQL Service is missing the ability to handle UPDATE statements and return the number of affected rows. It contains a sequence methods:
dbRead() - Returns a record set
dbWrite() - Returns true/false based on success of the SQL statement that changes the DB
dbInsert() - Similar to dbWrite - but returns the generated auto-increment key.
Generally UPDATE statements are done with dbWrite() - it returns a true/false indicating if it worked or failed.
Sometimes UPDATE semantics need to know the number of records affected in order to know if the UPDATE accomplished the desired results.
As best I can tell, there is no way to accomplish this using the current BasicSQLService.
I will add dbWriteCount() that functions like dbWrite except that they return an integer number of records affected rather than a true/false return.