transaction : Java Glossary


A transaction is an atomic unit of work to be done to a database. It is always applied as a whole, If the database crashes and is recovered, only complete transactions will be reapplied, no partially completed ones. Often it is possible to abort a transaction part way through and the work done so far is undone. In a multithread situation, other threads don’t see the partially completed changes of some other transaction. Sometimes the term means a message sent over the Internet to a server. Sometimes it means a demarkated group of messages sent to a database.

Unless you have a very simple system, if you have networks of interconnected persistent objects that have to stay in sync, you pretty well have to use some sort of transaction management to cover all the myriad ways you could fail.

Without some sort of transaction manager, it requires expontially complicated code to back out of every possible failure. The code cannot be fully exercised during debugging and it will only fail at the JavaOne demo before the people from HP (Hewlett Packard) who are thinking of bundling your product with every computer they sell.

The three most common ways of doing transaction management are SQL, EJBand PODs.

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