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Re: Is it possible to use nolock type of hint in query

From: Norman Dunbar <>
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 08:34:55 +0100
Message-Id: <>

Morning Jared,

>> I don't see how that invalidates the use of SELECT FOR UPDATE.
Technically, it doesn't. It's just that developers (some of) don't have a flipping clue. SELECT FOR UPDATE is a simple and lazy way to prevent the developer having to (a) think; and (b) code more code IMHO.

>> The key is when to use it.


>> Query data at the beginning of the transaction.
Nope. They SELECT FOR UPDATE at the beginning of the query !


>> When the user is ready to commit the transaction:
>> * Now do the SELECT FOR UPDATE
>> * If the rows can't be locked, the transaction obviously is void
>> Poor user must start over.

Not in my code! The poor user is advised that someone else has changed the data since it was read and would they like to (a) abort completely and start again; or (b) see what changes have been made; or (rarely) (c) force the changes through anyway.

If they choose the (b) option the have the option then to apply some or all changes over the new data or abort completely.

>> This leaves the row(s) locked just long enough for the app to
>> if it is safe to proceed.

A Utopian solution. Once more I refer to Spatial. If I wish to update a column of Spatial data, and it is indexed, there is a SELECT FOR UPDATE on MDSYS.SDO_ALL_INDEX_METADATA which means that from now on, until I commit/rollback, no other user can perform any insert or updates on that column in that table. Enqueue waits result. Other users get somewhat teed off with me.

It's down to the application of course, to keep these transactions short and sweet to avoid holding locks for ages, but this in turn is down to the developers and so we start the nasty vicious circle all over again :o(

>> I believe that Oracle Forms does something like this.
I've never used forms, so I have no experience of it yet.

>> The problem seems to be (as with many things involving databases)
>> the misuse of the SELECT FOR UPDATE statement.
I fully agree. But, on the other hand, just because you *can* do something, that doesn't mean that you *should* :o)


Jared Still
Certifiable Oracle DBA and Part Time Perl Evangelist

Norman Dunbar.
Contract Oracle DBA.
Rivers House, Leeds.

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Received on Tue Aug 15 2006 - 02:34:55 CDT

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