The DELETE operation follows almost the same steps as the INSERT operation, except in the opposite order. As with insertions and updates, this sequence of operations is followed for all transactions regardless of their isolation level.
Acquire a shared schema lock on the table, if one is not already held.
Acquire an intent-to-write table lock on the table, if one is not already held.
Identify candidate rows to be updated. As rows are scanned, they are locked. The default locking behavior is described in Isolation levels and consistency.
At isolation levels 2 and 3 the following differences occur that are different from the default locking behavior: intent-to-write row-level locks are acquired instead of read locks, and intent-to-write locks may be acquired on rows that are ultimately rejected as candidates for update.
For each candidate row identified in step 2.a, follow the rest of the sequence.
Write lock the row to be deleted.
Remove the row from the table so that it is no longer visible to other transactions. The row cannot be destroyed until the transaction is committed because doing so would remove the option of rolling back the transaction. Index entries for the deleted row are preserved, though marked as deleted, until transaction completion. This prevents other transactions from re-inserting the same row.
If the table is a primary table in a referential integrity relationship, and the relationship's DELETE action is not RESTRICT, determine the affected row(s) in the foreign table(s) by first acquiring a shared schema lock on the table(s), an intent-to-write table lock on each, and acquire write locks on all the affected rows, modifying each as appropriate. Note that this process may cascade through a nested hierarchy of referential integrity constraints.
The transaction can be committed provided referential integrity is not violated by doing so. To verify referential integrity, the database server also keeps track of any orphans created as a side effect of the deletion. Upon COMMIT, the server records the operation in the transaction log file and release all locks.
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