How does Hibernate guarantee application-level repeatable reads

Introduction In my previous post I described how application-level transactions offer a suitable concurrency control mechanism for long conversations. All entities are loaded within the context of a Hibernate Session, acting as a transactional write-behind cache. A Hibernate persistence context can hold one and only one reference to a given entity. The first level cache guarantees session-level repeatable reads. If the conversation spans over multiple requests we can have application-level repeatable reads. Long conversations are inherently stateful so we can opt for detached objects or long persistence contexts. But application-level repeatable reads… Read More

How to prevent lost updates in long conversations

Introduction All database statements are executed within the context of a physical transaction, even when we don’t explicitly declare transaction boundaries (BEGIN/COMMIT/ROLLBACK). Data integrity is enforced by the ACID properties of database transactions. Logical vs Physical transactions A logical transaction is an application-level unit of work that may span over multiple physical (database) transactions. Holding the database connection open throughout several user requests, including user think time, is definitely an anti-pattern. A database server can accommodate a limited number of physical connections, and often those are reused by using connection pooling. Holding… Read More

A beginner’s guide to database locking and the lost update phenomena

Introduction A database is highly concurrent system. There’s always a chance of update conflicts, like when two concurring transactions try to update the same record. If there would be only one database transaction at any time then all operations would be executed sequentially. The challenge comes when multiple transactions try to update the same database rows as we still have to ensure consistent data state transitions. The SQL standard defines three consistency anomalies (phenomena): Dirty reads, prevented by Read Committed, Repeatable Read and Serializable isolation levels Non-repeatable reads, prevented by Repeatable Read… Read More

A beginner’s guide to ACID and database transactions

Introduction Transactions are omnipresent in today’s enterprise systems, providing data integrity even in highly concurrent environments. So let’s get started by first defining the term and the context where you might usually employ it. A transaction is a collection of read/write operations succeeding only if all contained operations succeed. Inherently a transaction is characterized by four properties (commonly referred as ACID): Atomicity Consistency Isolation Durability