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In the context of databases and computer systems, a transaction refers to a logical unit of work that consists of one or more database operations. These operations are grouped together to ensure the integrity, consistency, and reliability of data.

Here are some key points about transactions:

  1. Atomicity: A transaction is atomic, meaning it is treated as a single, indivisible unit of work. Either all the operations within a transaction are successfully completed, or none of them are. If any operation within the transaction fails, the entire transaction is rolled back, and the database is left unchanged.
  2. Consistency: Transactions maintain the consistency of the database by enforcing rules and constraints. This ensures that the database remains in a valid state throughout the transaction and after its completion.
  3. Isolation: Transactions are isolated from each other to prevent interference and maintain data integrity. Each transaction operates as if it is the only transaction being executed, even if multiple transactions are running concurrently.
  4. Durability: Once a transaction is committed and completed successfully, its changes are permanently saved and will survive system failures, such as power outages or crashes. The changes become a permanent part of the database.
  5. Concurrency Control: Managing concurrent transactions is essential to prevent conflicts and maintain data consistency. Concurrency control mechanisms, such as locks or timestamps, are used to ensure that transactions do not interfere with each other.

Transactions are widely used in database systems to ensure data integrity and reliability. They are commonly employed in various applications, including financial systems, e-commerce platforms, inventory management systems, and more. By grouping related operations into transactions, organizations can maintain data consistency and recover from failures effectively.

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