Chapter 9

Managing Transactions and Data Integrity


  • Understanding essentials of ACID transactions
  • Applying transactional guarantee in distributed systems
  • Understanding Brewer’s CAP Theorem
  • Exploring transactional support in NoSQL products

The best way to understand transactions and data integrity in the world of NoSQL is to first review these same concepts in the context of the familiar RDBMS environment. Once the fundamental transactional notions and vocabulary are established and a couple of use cases are illustrated, it gets easier to conceive how the transactional concepts are challenged in large-scale distributed environments; places where NoSQL shines.

Not all NoSQL products share a similar view of transactions and data integrity. So once the broad and generalized expectations of transactional integrity in large-scale distributed systems is explained, it’s pertinent to show how it’s implemented in specific products and that is exactly how this chapter approaches the topic.

So to get started, you need to begin with ACID.


ACID, which stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability, has become the gold standard to define the highest level of transactional integrity in database systems. As the acronym suggests it implies the following:

  • Atomicity — Either a transactional operation fully succeeds or completely fails. Nothing that is inconsistent between the two states is acceptable. The canonical example that illustrates this ...

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