SQL - Transactions


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A transaction is a unit of work that is performed against a database. Transactions are units or sequences of work accomplished in a logical order, whether in a manual fashion by a user or automatically by some sort of a database program.

A transaction is the propagation of one or more changes to the database. For example, if you are creating a record or updating a record or deleting a record from the table, then you are performing a transaction on that table. It is important to control these transactions to ensure the data integrity and to handle database errors.

Practically, you will club many SQL queries into a group and you will execute all of them together as a part of a transaction.

Properties of Transactions

Transactions have the following four standard properties, usually referred to by the acronym ACID.

  • Atomicity − ensures that all operations within the work unit are completed successfully. Otherwise, the transaction is aborted at the point of failure and all the previous operations are rolled back to their former state.

  • Consistency − ensures that the database properly changes states upon a successfully committed transaction.

  • Isolation − enables transactions to operate independently of and transparent to each other.

  • Durability − ensures that the result or effect of a committed transaction persists in case of a system failure.

Transaction Control

The following commands are used to control transactions.

  • COMMIT − to save the changes.

  • ROLLBACK − to roll back the changes.

  • SAVEPOINT − creates points within the groups of transactions in which to ROLLBACK.

  • SET TRANSACTION − Places a name on a transaction.

Transactional Control Commands

Transactional control commands are only used with the DML Commands such as - INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE only. They cannot be used while creating tables or dropping them because these operations are automatically committed in the database.

The COMMIT Command

The COMMIT command is the transactional command used to save changes invoked by a transaction to the database.

The COMMIT command is the transactional command used to save changes invoked by a transaction to the database. The COMMIT command saves all the transactions to the database since the last COMMIT or ROLLBACK command.

The syntax for the COMMIT command is as follows.

COMMIT;

Example

Consider the CUSTOMERS table having the following records −

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

Following is an example which would delete those records from the table which have age = 25 and then COMMIT the changes in the database.

SQL> DELETE FROM CUSTOMERS
   WHERE AGE = 25;
SQL> COMMIT;

Thus, two rows from the table would be deleted and the SELECT statement would produce the following result.

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

The ROLLBACK Command

The ROLLBACK command is the transactional command used to undo transactions that have not already been saved to the database. This command can only be used to undo transactions since the last COMMIT or ROLLBACK command was issued.

The syntax for a ROLLBACK command is as follows −

ROLLBACK;

Example

Consider the CUSTOMERS table having the following records −

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

Following is an example, which would delete those records from the table which have the age = 25 and then ROLLBACK the changes in the database.

SQL> DELETE FROM CUSTOMERS
   WHERE AGE = 25;
SQL> ROLLBACK;

Thus, the delete operation would not impact the table and the SELECT statement would produce the following result.

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

The SAVEPOINT Command

A SAVEPOINT is a point in a transaction when you can roll the transaction back to a certain point without rolling back the entire transaction.

The syntax for a SAVEPOINT command is as shown below.

SAVEPOINT SAVEPOINT_NAME;

This command serves only in the creation of a SAVEPOINT among all the transactional statements. The ROLLBACK command is used to undo a group of transactions.

The syntax for rolling back to a SAVEPOINT is as shown below.

ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT_NAME;

Following is an example where you plan to delete the three different records from the CUSTOMERS table. You want to create a SAVEPOINT before each delete, so that you can ROLLBACK to any SAVEPOINT at any time to return the appropriate data to its original state.

Example

Consider the CUSTOMERS table having the following records.

+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  1 | Ramesh   |  32 | Ahmedabad |  2000.00 |
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+

The following code block contains the series of operations.

SQL> SAVEPOINT SP1;
Savepoint created.
SQL> DELETE FROM CUSTOMERS WHERE ID=1;
1 row deleted.
SQL> SAVEPOINT SP2;
Savepoint created.
SQL> DELETE FROM CUSTOMERS WHERE ID=2;
1 row deleted.
SQL> SAVEPOINT SP3;
Savepoint created.
SQL> DELETE FROM CUSTOMERS WHERE ID=3;
1 row deleted.

Now that the three deletions have taken place, let us assume that you have changed your mind and decided to ROLLBACK to the SAVEPOINT that you identified as SP2. Because SP2 was created after the first deletion, the last two deletions are undone −

SQL> ROLLBACK TO SP2;
Rollback complete.

Notice that only the first deletion took place since you rolled back to SP2.

SQL> SELECT * FROM CUSTOMERS;
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
| ID | NAME     | AGE | ADDRESS   | SALARY   |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
|  2 | Khilan   |  25 | Delhi     |  1500.00 |
|  3 | kaushik  |  23 | Kota      |  2000.00 |
|  4 | Chaitali |  25 | Mumbai    |  6500.00 |
|  5 | Hardik   |  27 | Bhopal    |  8500.00 |
|  6 | Komal    |  22 | MP        |  4500.00 |
|  7 | Muffy    |  24 | Indore    | 10000.00 |
+----+----------+-----+-----------+----------+
6 rows selected.

The RELEASE SAVEPOINT Command

The RELEASE SAVEPOINT command is used to remove a SAVEPOINT that you have created.

The syntax for a RELEASE SAVEPOINT command is as follows.

RELEASE SAVEPOINT SAVEPOINT_NAME;

Once a SAVEPOINT has been released, you can no longer use the ROLLBACK command to undo transactions performed since the last SAVEPOINT.

The SET TRANSACTION Command

The SET TRANSACTION command can be used to initiate a database transaction. This command is used to specify characteristics for the transaction that follows. For example, you can specify a transaction to be read only or read write.

The syntax for a SET TRANSACTION command is as follows.

SET TRANSACTION [ READ WRITE | READ ONLY ];


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