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SQL Anywhere 11.0.1 (Français) » SQL Anywhere Server - SQL Usage » Creating Databases » Using transactions and isolation levels » Isolation levels and consistency

 

Typical types of inconsistency

There are three typical types of inconsistency that can occur during the execution of concurrent transactions. This list is not exhaustive as other types of inconsistencies can also occur. These three types are mentioned in the ISO SQL/2003 standard and are important because behavior at lower isolation levels is defined in terms of them.

  • Dirty read   Transaction A modifies a row, but does not commit or roll back the change. Transaction B reads the modified row. Transaction A then either further changes the row before performing a COMMIT, or rolls back its modification. In either case, transaction B has seen the row in a state which was never committed.

    For more information about dirty reads, see Tutorial: Dirty reads.

  • Non-repeatable read   Transaction A reads a row. Transaction B then modifies or deletes the row and performs a COMMIT. If transaction A then attempts to read the same row again, the row will have been changed or deleted.

    For more information about non-repeatable reads, see Tutorial: Non-repeatable reads.

  • Phantom row   Transaction A reads a set of rows that satisfy some condition. Transaction B then executes an INSERT or an UPDATE on a row which did not previously meet A's condition. Transaction B commits these changes. These newly committed rows now satisfy Transaction A's condition. If Transaction A then repeats the read, it obtains the updated set of rows.

    For more information about phantom rows, see Tutorial: Phantom rows.

Isolation levels and dirty reads, non-repeatable reads, and phantom rows

SQL Anywhere allows dirty reads, non-repeatable reads, and phantom rows, depending on the isolation level that is used. An X in the following table indicates that the behavior is allowed for that isolation level.

Isolation level Dirty reads Non-repeatable reads Phantom rows
0-read uncommitted X X X
readonly-statement-snapshot X1 X2 X3
1-read committed X X
statement-snapshot X2 X3
2-repeatable read X
3-serializable
snapshot

1 Dirty reads can occur for updatable statements within a transaction if the isolation level specified by the updatable_statement_isolation option does not prevent them from occurring.

2 Non-repeatable reads can occur for statements within a transaction if the isolation level specified by the updatable_statement_isolation option does not prevent them from occurring. Non-repeatable reads can occur because each statement starts a new snapshot, so one statement may see changes that another statement does not see.

3 Phantom rows can occur for statements within a transaction if the isolation level specified by the updatable_statement_isolation option does not prevent them from occurring. Phantom rows can occur because each statement starts a new snapshot, so one statement may see changes that another statement does not see.

This table demonstrates two points:

  • Each isolation level eliminates one of the three typical types of inconsistencies.

  • Each level eliminates the types of inconsistencies eliminated at all lower levels.

  • For statement snapshot isolation levels, non-repeatable reads and phantom rows can occur within a transaction, but not within a single statement in a transaction.

The isolation levels have different names under ODBC. These names are based on the names of the inconsistencies that they prevent. See The ValuePtr parameter.


Cursor instability