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Learning SQL, 2nd Edition by Alan Beaulieu

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Chapter 12. Transactions

All of the examples thus far in this book have been individual, independent SQL statements. While this may be the norm for ad hoc reporting or data maintenance scripts, application logic will frequently include multiple SQL statements that need to execute together as a logical unit of work. This chapter explores the need and the infrastructure necessary to execute multiple SQL statements concurrently.

Multiuser Databases

Database management systems allow not only a single user to query and modify data, but multiple people to do so simultaneously. If every user is only executing queries, such as might be the case with a data warehouse during normal business hours, then there are very few issues for the database server to deal with. If some of the users are adding and/or modifying data, however, the server must handle quite a bit more bookkeeping.

Let’s say, for example, that you are running a report that shows the available balance for all the checking accounts opened at your branch. At the same time you are running the report, however, the following activities are occurring:

  • A teller at your branch is handling a deposit for one of your customers.

  • A customer is finishing a withdrawal at the ATM in the front lobby.

  • The bank’s month-end application is applying interest to the accounts.

While your report is running, therefore, multiple users are modifying the underlying data, so what numbers should appear on the report? The answer depends somewhat on how your server ...

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