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Re: true definition of a transaction

From: Niall Litchfield <>
Date: Wed, 4 May 2005 16:59:43 +0100
Message-ID: <>

On 5/3/05, <> wrote:
> Does the definition of a transaction vary depending on technology? The hi=

gh level definition is basically a 'single unit of work'. However, in oracl=
e a transaction is a commit, in J2EE EJB world a transaction can include an=
 in memory change to a variable, in sql server, i think selects are include=
d in the definition of a transaction.
> I heard a guy on the radio who claims to run a company that 'implemented =
one the highest transaction data warehouses in the world'. To me that is an=  oxymoron. By definition data warehouses are read mostly, with period data = loads.
> has anyone else noticed this? any comments?

I don't consider a transaction to be a technology thing but a logical concept relating to the application. It should be defined something like 'a logical grouping of work tasks that must all be performed together and should all succeed or all fail'.

I see the classic banking example has already been given. Let me give anoth= er.=20

We run invoices monthly. The process that does this creates updates and deletes a lot of data in an Oracle database (well we *hope* its a lot of data anyway) and then prints some crystal reports on headed paper, and for some customers I believe, now generated pdfs that get emailed out. The *transaction* in this case as covering all the data manipulation, plus the generation and sending of the printouts (if they don't go we don't get paid). This definition covers a large number of database transactions - spans a lot of commits, when IMO it shouldn't - but should it fail, we go back to where we were and rerun the process. I'd like the technology implementation to reflect the business transaction involved, but thats another rant.


Niall Litchfield
Oracle DBA

Received on Wed May 04 2005 - 12:06:36 CDT

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