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Microsoft® SQL Server 2012 Unleashed by Alex T. Silverstein, Chris Gallelli, Paul T. Bertucci, Ray Rankins

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Transaction Logging and the Recovery Process

Every SQL Server database has its own transaction log that keeps a record of all data modifications in a database (for example, insert, update, delete) in the order in which they occur. This information is stored in one or more log files associated with the database. The information stored in these log files cannot be modified or viewed effectively by any user process.

SQL Server uses a write-ahead log. The buffer manager guarantees that changes are written to the transaction log before the changes are written to the database. The buffer manager also ensures that the log pages are written out in sequence so that transactions can be recovered properly in the event of a system crash.

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