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Inside Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005, Fourth Edition by Kalen Delaney

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Transaction Processing

No matter what concurrency model you’re working with, an understanding of transactions is crucial. A transaction is the basic unit of work in SQL Server. Typically, it consists of several SQL commands that read and update the database, but the update is not considered final until a COMMIT command is issued (at least for an explicit transaction). In general, when I talk about a modification operation or a read operation, I am talking about the transaction that performs the data modification or the read, which is not necessarily a single SQL statement. When I say that writers will block readers, I mean that as long as the transaction that performed the write operation is active, no other process can read the modified data. ...

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