Overview of Transactions

If you've used a relational database before, completed a Computer Studies course, or read any other J2EE book, you've probably read a section like this one already. But read on anyway, if only to be acquainted with some of the J2EE terminology that is used in this arena.

A transaction is an atomic unit of work, where:

  • Atomic unit means indivisible—either every step within the transaction completes or none of them do.

  • Work here usually means some modification to data within a persistent data store. In database terms, this means one or more INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE operations. However, strictly speaking, it also applies to reading of data through SELECT statements.

For a persistent data store to support transactions, it ...

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