Chapter 12. Transaction Control

Everything in Firebird happens in transactions. Units of work are isolated between a start point and end point. Changes to data remain reversible until the moment the client application instructs the server to commit them.

12.1 Transaction Statements

Firebird has a small lexicon of SQL statements that are used by client applications to start, manage, commit and reverse (roll back) the transactions that form the boundaries of all database tasks:

SET TRANSACTION

for configuring and starting a transaction

COMMIT

to signal the end of a unit of work and write changes permanently to the database

ROLLBACK

to reverse the changes performed in the transaction

SAVEPOINT

to mark a position in the log of work done, in case a partial rollback is needed

RELEASE SAVEPOINT

to erase a savepoint

12.1.1 SET TRANSACTION

Used forConfiguring and starting a transaction

Available inDSQL, ESQL

Syntax

SET TRANSACTION
   [NAME tr_name]
   [<tr_option> ...]
 
<tr_option> ::=
     READ {ONLY | WRITE}
   | [NO] WAIT
   | [ISOLATION LEVEL] <isolation_level>
   | NO AUTO UNDO
   | RESTART REQUESTS
   | AUTO COMMIT
   | IGNORE LIMBO
   | LOCK TIMEOUT seconds
   | RESERVING <tables>
   | USING <dbhandles>
 
<isolation_level> ::=
    SNAPSHOT [AT NUMBER snapshot_number]
  | SNAPSHOT TABLE [STABILITY]
  | READ {UNCOMMITED | COMMITTED} [<read-commited-opt>]
 
<read-commited-opt> ::=
  [NO] RECORD_VERSION | READ CONSISTENCY
 
<tables> ::= <table_spec> [, <table_spec> ...]
 
<table_spec> ::= tablename [, tablename ...]
  [FOR [SHARED | PROTECTED] {READ | WRITE}]
 
<dbhandles> ::= dbhandle [, dbhandle ...]

Table 12.1.1.1 SET TRANSACTION Statement Parameters
ParameterDescription

tr_name

Transaction name. Available only in ESQL

tr_option

Optional transaction option. Each option should be specified at most once, some options are mutually exclusive (e.g. READ ONLY vs READ WRITE, WAIT vs NO WAIT)

seconds

The time in seconds for the statement to wait in case a conflict occurs. Has to be greater than or equal to 0.

snapshot_number

Snapshot number to use for this transaction

tables

The list of tables to reserve

dbhandles

The list of databases the database can access. Available only in ESQL

table_spec

Table reservation specification

tablename

The name of the table to reserve

dbhandle

The handle of the database the transaction can access. Available only in ESQL

The SET TRANSACTION statement configures the transaction and starts it. As a rule, only client applications start transactions. The exceptions are the occasions when the server starts an autonomous transaction or transactions for certain background system threads/processes, such as sweeping.

A client application can start any number of concurrently running transactions. A single connection can have multiple concurrent active transactions (though not all drivers or access components support this). A limit does exist, for the total number of running transactions in all client applications working with one particular database from the moment the database was restored from its backup copy or from the moment the database was created originally. The limit is 248 — 281,474,976,710,656 — in Firebird 3.0 and higher, and 231-1 — or 2,147,483,647 — in earlier versions.

All clauses in the SET TRANSACTION statement are optional. If the statement starting a transaction has no clauses specified in it, it the transaction will be started with default values for access mode, lock resolution mode and isolation level, which are:

SET TRANSACTION
  READ WRITE
  WAIT
  ISOLATION LEVEL SNAPSHOT;
⯃︎
Warning

Database drivers or access components may use different defaults. Check their documentation for details.

The server assigns integer numbers to transactions sequentially. Whenever a client starts any transaction, either explicitly defined or by default, the server sends the transaction ID to the client. This number can be retrieved in SQL using the context variable CURRENT_TRANSACTION.

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Note

Some database drivers — or their governing specifications — require that you configure and start transaction through API methods. In that case, using SET TRANSACTION is either not supported, or may result in unspecified behaviour. An example of this is JDBC and the Firebird JDBC driver Jaybird.

Check the documentation of your driver for details.

The NAME and USING clauses are only valid in ESQL.

12.1.1.1 Transaction Name

The optional NAME attribute defines the name of a transaction. Use of this attribute is available only in Embedded SQL. In ESQL applications, named transactions make it possible to have several transactions active simultaneously in one application. If named transactions are used, a host-language variable with the same name must be declared and initialized for each named transaction. This is a limitation that prevents dynamic specification of transaction names and thus, rules out transaction naming in DSQL.

12.1.1.2 Transaction Parameters

The main parameters of a transaction are:

  • data access mode (READ WRITE, READ ONLY)

  • lock resolution mode (WAIT, NO WAIT) with an optional LOCK TIMEOUT specification

  • isolation level (READ COMMITTED, SNAPSHOT, SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY).

    🛈︎
    Note

    The READ UNCOMMITTED isolation level is a synonym for READ COMMITTED, and provided only for syntax compatibility. It provides the exact same semantics as READ COMMITTED, and does not allow you to view uncommitted changes of other transactions.

  • a mechanism for reserving or releasing tables (the RESERVING clause)

12.1.1.2.1 Access Mode

The two database access modes for transactions are READ WRITE and READ ONLY.

  • If the access mode is READ WRITE, operations in the context of this transaction can be both read operations and data update operations. This is the default mode.

  • If the access mode is READ ONLY, only SELECT operations can be executed in the context of this transaction. Any attempt to change data in the context of such a transaction will result in database exceptions. However, this does not apply to global temporary tables (GTT), which are allowed to be changed in READ ONLY transactions, see Global Temporary Tables (GTT) in Chapter Data Definition (DDL) Statements for details.

12.1.1.2.2 Lock Resolution Mode

When several client processes work with the same database, locks may occur when one process makes uncommitted changes in a table row, or deletes a row, and another process tries to update or delete the same row. Such locks are called update conflicts.

Locks may occur in other situations when multiple transaction isolation levels are used.

The two lock resolution modes are WAIT and NO WAIT.

12.1.1.2.2.1 WAIT Mode

In the WAIT mode (the default mode), if a conflict occurs between two parallel processes executing concurrent data updates in the same database, a WAIT transaction will wait till the other transaction has finished — by committing (COMMIT) or rolling back (ROLLBACK). The client application with the WAIT transaction will be put on hold until the conflict is resolved.

If a LOCK TIMEOUT is specified for the WAIT transaction, waiting will continue only for the number of seconds specified in this clause. If the lock is unresolved at the end of the specified interval, the error message Lock time-out on wait transaction is returned to the client.

Lock resolution behaviour can vary a little, depending on the transaction isolation level.

12.1.1.2.2.2 NO WAIT Mode

In the NO WAIT mode, a transaction will immediately throw a database exception if a conflict occurs.

🛈︎
Note

LOCK TIMEOUT is a separate transaction option, but can only be used for WAIT transactions. Specifying LOCK TIMEOUT with a NO WAIT transaction will raise an error invalid parameter in transaction parameter block -Option isc_tpb_lock_timeout is not valid if isc_tpb_nowait was used previously in TPB

12.1.1.2.3 Isolation Level

Keeping the work of one database task separated from others is what isolation is about. Changes made by one statement become visible to all remaining statements executing within the same transaction, regardless of its isolation level. Changes that are in progress within other transactions remain invisible to the current transaction as long as they remain uncommitted. The isolation level and, sometimes, other attributes, determine how transactions will interact when another transaction wants to commit work.

The ISOLATION LEVEL attribute defines the isolation level for the transaction being started. It is the most significant transaction parameter for determining its behavior towards other concurrently running transactions.

The three isolation levels supported in Firebird are:

  • SNAPSHOT

  • SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY

  • READ COMMITTED with two specifications (NO RECORD_VERSION and RECORD_VERSION)

12.1.1.2.3.1 SNAPSHOT Isolation Level

SNAPSHOT isolation level — the default level — allows the transaction to see only those changes that were committed before it was started. Any committed changes made by concurrent transactions will not be seen in a SNAPSHOT transaction while it is active. The changes will become visible to a new transaction once the current transaction is either committed or rolled back completely, but not if it is just rolled back to a savepoint.

The SNAPSHOT isolation level is also known as concurrency.

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Autonomous Transactions

Changes made by autonomous transactions are not seen in the context of the SNAPSHOT transaction that launched it.

Sharing Snapshot Transactions

Using SNAPSHOT AT NUMBER snaphot_number, a SNAPSHOT transaction can be started sharing the snapshot of another transaction. With this feature it’s possible to create parallel processes (using different attachments) reading consistent data from a database. For example, a backup process may create multiple threads reading data from the database in parallel. Or a web service may dispatch distributed sub-services doing some processing in parallel.

Alternatively, this feature can also be used via the API, using Transaction Parameter Buffer item isc_tpb_at_snapshot_number.

The snapshot_number from an active transaction can be obtained with RDB$GET_CONTEXT('SYSTEM', 'SNAPSHOT_NUMBER') in SQL or using the transaction information API call with fb_info_tra_snapshot_number information tag. The snapshot_number passed to the new transaction must be a snapshot of a currently active transaction.

🛈︎
Note

To share a stable view between transactions, the other transaction also needs to have isolation level SNAPSHOT. With READ COMMITTED, the snapshot number will move forward

Example

SET TRANSACTION SNAPSHOT AT NUMBER 12345;

12.1.1.2.3.2 SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY Isolation Level

The SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY — or SNAPSHOT TABLE — isolation level is the most restrictive. As in SNAPSHOT, a transaction in SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation sees only those changes that were committed before the current transaction was started. After a SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY is started, no other transactions can make any changes to any table in the database that has changes pending for this transaction. Other transactions are able to read other data, but any attempt at inserting, updating or deleting by a parallel process will cause conflict exceptions.

The RESERVING clause can be used to allow other transactions to change data in some tables.

If any other transaction has an uncommitted change pending in any (non-SHARED) table listed in the RESERVING clause, trying to start a SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY transaction will result in an indefinite wait (default or explicit WAIT), or an exception (NO WAIT or after expiration of the LOCK TIMEOUT).

The SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation level is also known as consistency.

12.1.1.2.3.3 READ COMMITTED Isolation Level

The READ COMMITTED isolation level allows all data changes that other transactions have committed since it started to be seen immediately by the uncommitted current transaction. Uncommitted changes are not visible to a READ COMMITTED transaction.

To retrieve the updated list of rows in the table you are interested in — refresh — the SELECT statement just needs to be requested again, whilst still in the uncommitted READ COMMITTED transaction.

Variants of READ COMMITTED

One of three modifying parameters can be specified for READ COMMITTED transactions, depending on the kind of conflict resolution desired: READ CONSISTENCY, RECORD_VERSION or NO RECORD_VERSION. When the ReadConsistency setting is set to 1 in firebird.conf (the default) or in databases.conf, these variants are effectively ignored and behave as READ CONSISTENCY. Otherwise, these variants are mutually exclusive.

  • NO RECORD_VERSION (the default if ReadConsistency = 0) is a kind of two-phase locking mechanism: it will make the transaction unable to write to any row that has an update pending from another transaction.

    • if NO WAIT is the lock resolution strategy specified, it will throw a lock conflict error immediately

    • with WAIT specified, it will wait until the other transaction either commits or is rolled back. If the other transaction is rolled back, or if it is committed and its transaction ID is older than the current transaction’s ID, then the current transaction’s change is allowed. A lock conflict error is returned if the other transaction was committed and its ID was newer than that of the current transaction.

  • With RECORD_VERSION specified, the transaction reads the latest committed version of the row, regardless of other pending versions of the row. The lock resolution strategy (WAIT or NO WAIT) does not affect the behavior of the transaction at its start in any way.

  • With READ CONSISTENCY specified (or ReadConsistency = 1), the execution of a statement obtains a snapshot of the database to ensure a consistent read at the statement-level of the transactions committed when execution started.

    The other two variants can result in statement-level inconsistent reads as they may read some but not all changes of a concurrent transaction if that transaction commits during statement execution. For example, a SELECT COUNT(*) could read some, but not all inserted records of another transaction if the commit of that transaction occurs while the statement is reading records.

    This statement-level snapshot is obtained for the execution of a top-level statement, nested statements (triggers, stored procedures and functions, dynamics statements, etc) use the statement-level snapshot created for the top-level statement.

🛈︎
Note

Obtaining a snapshot for READ CONSISTENCY is a very cheap action.

⚠︎
Caution

Setting ReadConsistency is set to 1 by default in firebird.conf.

12.1.1.2.4 NO AUTO UNDO

The NO AUTO UNDO option affects the handling of record versions (garbage) produced by the transaction in the event of rollback. With NO AUTO UNDO flagged, the ROLLBACK statement just marks the transaction as rolled back without deleting the record versions created in the transaction. They are left to be mopped up later by garbage collection.

NO AUTO UNDO might be useful when a lot of separate statements are executed that change data in conditions where the transaction is likely to be committed successfully most of the time.

The NO AUTO UNDO option is ignored for transactions where no changes are made.

12.1.1.2.5 RESTART REQUESTS

According to the Firebird sources, this will

Restart all requests in the current attachment to utilize the passed transaction.

src/jrd/tra.cpp

The exact semantics and effects of this clause are not clear, and we recommend you do not use this clause.

12.1.1.2.6 AUTO COMMIT

Specifying AUTO COMMIT enables auto-commit mode for the transaction. In auto-commit mode, Firebird will internally execute the equivalent of COMMIT RETAIN after each statement execution.

⚠︎
Caution

This is not a generally useful auto-commit mode; the same transaction context is retained until the transaction is ended through a commit or rollback. In other words, when you use SNAPSHOT or SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY, this auto-commit will not change record visibility (effects of transactions that were committed after this transaction was started will not be visible).

For READ COMMITTED, the same warnings apply as for commit retaining: prolonged use of a single transaction in auto-commit mode can inhibit garbage collection and degrade performance.

12.1.1.2.7 IGNORE LIMBO

This flag is used to signal that records created by limbo transactions are to be ignored. Transactions are left in limbo if the second stage of a two-phase commit fails.

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Historical Note

IGNORE LIMBO surfaces the TPB parameter isc_tpb_ignore_limbo, available in the API since InterBase times and is mainly used by gfix.

12.1.1.2.8 RESERVING

The RESERVING clause in the SET TRANSACTION statement reserves tables specified in the table list. Reserving a table prevents other transactions from making changes in them or even, with the inclusion of certain parameters, from reading data from them while this transaction is running.

A RESERVING clause can also be used to specify a list of tables that can be changed by other transactions, even if the transaction is started with the SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation level.

One RESERVING clause is used to specify as many reserved tables as required.

12.1.1.2.8.1 Options for RESERVING Clause

If one of the keywords SHARED or PROTECTED is omitted, SHARED is assumed. If the whole FOR clause is omitted, FOR SHARED READ is assumed. The names and compatibility of the four access options for reserving tables are not obvious.

Table 12.1.1.2.8.1.1 Compatibility of Access Options for RESERVING

 

SHARED READ

SHARED WRITE

PROTECTED READ

PROTECTED WRITE

SHARED READ

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SHARED WRITE

Yes

Yes

No

No

PROTECTED READ

Yes

No

Yes

No

PROTECTED WRITE

Yes

No

No

No

The combinations of these RESERVING clause flags for concurrent access depend on the isolation levels of the concurrent transactions:

  • SNAPSHOT isolation

    • Concurrent SNAPSHOT transactions with SHARED READ do not affect one other’s access

    • A concurrent mix of SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED transactions with SHARED WRITE do not affect one another’s access, but they block transactions with SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation from either reading from or writing to the specified table(s)

    • Concurrent transactions with any isolation level and PROTECTED READ can only read data from the reserved tables. Any attempt to write to them will cause an exception

    • With PROTECTED WRITE, concurrent transactions with SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED isolation cannot write to the specified tables. Transactions with SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation cannot read from or write to the reserved tables at all.

  • SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation

    • All concurrent transactions with SHARED READ, regardless of their isolation levels, can read from or write (if in READ WRITE mode) to the reserved tables

    • Concurrent transactions with SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED isolation levels and SHARED WRITE can read data from and write (if in READ WRITE mode) to the specified tables but concurrent access to those tables from transactions with SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY is blocked completely whilst these transactions are active

    • Concurrent transactions with any isolation level and PROTECTED READ can only read from the reserved tables

    • With PROTECTED WRITE, concurrent SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED transactions can read from but not write to the reserved tables. Access by transactions with the SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation level is blocked completely.

  • READ COMMITTED isolation

    • With SHARED READ, all concurrent transactions with any isolation level can both read from and write (if in READ WRITE mode) to the reserved tables

    • SHARED WRITE allows all transactions in SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED isolation to read from and write (if in READ WRITE mode) to the specified tables and blocks access completely from transactions with SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation

    • With PROTECTED READ, concurrent transactions with any isolation level can only read from the reserved tables

    • With PROTECTED WRITE, concurrent transactions in SNAPSHOT and READ COMMITTED isolation can read from but not write to the specified tables. Access from transactions in SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY isolation is blocked completely.

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Note

In Embedded SQL, the USING clause can be used to conserve system resources by limiting the number of databases a transaction can access. USING is mutually exclusive with RESERVING. A USING clause in SET TRANSACTION syntax is not supported in DSQL.

See alsoSection 12.1.2, COMMIT, Section 12.1.3, ROLLBACK

12.1.2 COMMIT

Used forCommitting a transaction

Available inDSQL, ESQL

Syntax

COMMIT [TRANSACTION tr_name] [WORK]
  [RETAIN [SNAPSHOT] | RELEASE];

Table 12.1.2.1 COMMIT Statement Parameter
ParameterDescription

tr_name

Transaction name. Available only in ESQL

The COMMIT statement commits all work carried out in the context of this transaction (inserts, updates, deletes, selects, execution of procedures). New record versions become available to other transactions and, unless the RETAIN clause is employed, all server resources allocated to its work are released.

If any conflicts or other errors occur in the database during the process of committing the transaction, the transaction is not committed, and the reasons are passed back to the user application for handling, and the opportunity to attempt another commit or to roll the transaction back.

The TRANSACTION and RELEASE clauses are only valid in ESQL.

12.1.2.1 COMMIT Options

  • The optional TRANSACTION tr_name clause, available only in Embedded SQL, specifies the name of the transaction to be committed. With no TRANSACTION clause, COMMIT is applied to the default transaction.

    🛈︎
    Note

    In ESQL applications, named transactions make it possible to have several transactions active simultaneously in one application. If named transactions are used, a host-language variable with the same name must be declared and initialized for each named transaction. This is a limitation that prevents dynamic specification of transaction names and thus, rules out transaction naming in DSQL.

  • The optional keyword WORK is supported just for compatibility with other relational database management systems that require it.

  • The keyword RELEASE is available only in Embedded SQL and enables disconnection from all databases after the transaction is committed. RELEASE is retained in Firebird only for compatibility with legacy versions of InterBase. It has been superseded in ESQL by the DISCONNECT statement.

  • The RETAIN [SNAPSHOT] clause is used for the soft commit, variously referred to amongst host languages and their practitioners as COMMIT WITH RETAIN, CommitRetaining, warm commit, et al. The transaction is committed, but some server resources are retained and a new transaction is restarted transparently with the same Transaction ID. The state of row caches and cursors is kept as it was before the soft commit.

    For soft-committed transactions whose isolation level is SNAPSHOT or SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY, the view of database state is not updated to reflect changes by other transactions, and the user of the application instance continues to have the same view as when the transaction started originally. Changes made during the life of the retained transaction are visible to that transaction, of course.

🛈︎
Recommendation

Use of the COMMIT statement in preference to ROLLBACK is recommended for ending transactions that only read data from the database, because COMMIT consumes fewer server resources and helps to optimize the performance of subsequent transactions.

See alsoSection 12.1.1, SET TRANSACTION, Section 12.1.3, ROLLBACK

12.1.3 ROLLBACK

Used forRolling back a transaction

Available inDSQL, ESQL

Syntax

  ROLLBACK [TRANSACTION tr_name] [WORK]
    [RETAIN [SNAPSHOT] | RELEASE]
| ROLLBACK [WORK] TO [SAVEPOINT] sp_name

Table 12.1.3.1 ROLLBACK Statement Parameters
ParameterDescription

tr_name

Transaction name. Available only in ESQL

sp_name

Savepoint name. Available only in DSQL

The ROLLBACK statement rolls back all work carried out in the context of this transaction (inserts, updates, deletes, selects, execution of procedures). ROLLBACK never fails and, thus, never causes exceptions. Unless the RETAIN clause is employed, all server resources allocated to the work of the transaction are released.

The TRANSACTION and RELEASE clauses are only valid in ESQL. The ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT statement is not available in ESQL.

12.1.3.1 ROLLBACK Options

  • The optional TRANSACTION tr_name clause, available only in Embedded SQL, specifies the name of the transaction to be committed. With no TRANSACTION clause, ROLLBACK is applied to the default transaction.

    🛈︎
    Note

    In ESQL applications, named transactions make it possible to have several transactions active simultaneously in one application. If named transactions are used, a host-language variable with the same name must be declared and initialized for each named transaction. This is a limitation that prevents dynamic specification of transaction names and thus, rules out transaction naming in DSQL.

  • The optional keyword WORK is supported just for compatibility with other relational database management systems that require it.

  • The keyword RETAIN keyword specifies that, although all work of the transaction is to be rolled back, the transaction context is to be retained. Some server resources are retained, and the transaction is restarted transparently with the same Transaction ID. The state of row caches and cursors is kept as it was before the soft rollback.

    For transactions whose isolation level is SNAPSHOT or SNAPSHOT TABLE STABILITY, the view of database state is not updated by the soft rollback to reflect changes by other transactions. The user of the application instance continues to have the same view as when the transaction started originally. Changes that were made and soft-committed during the life of the retained transaction are visible to that transaction, of course.

See alsoSection 12.1.1, SET TRANSACTION, Section 12.1.2, COMMIT

12.1.3.2 ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT

The alternative ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT statement specifies the name of a savepoint to which changes are to be rolled back. The effect is to roll back all changes made within the transaction, from the specified savepoint forward until the point when ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT is requested.

ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT performs the following operations:

  • Any database mutations performed since the savepoint was created are undone. User variables set with RDB$SET_CONTEXT() remain unchanged.

  • Any savepoints that were created after the one named are destroyed. Savepoints earlier than the one named are preserved, along with the named savepoint itself. Repeated rollbacks to the same savepoint are thus allowed.

  • All implicit and explicit record locks that were acquired since the savepoint are released. Other transactions that have requested access to rows locked after the savepoint must continue to wait until the transaction is committed or rolled back. Other transactions that have not already requested the rows can request and access the unlocked rows immediately.

See alsoSection 12.1.4, SAVEPOINT, Section 12.1.5, RELEASE SAVEPOINT

12.1.4 SAVEPOINT

Used forCreating a savepoint

Available inDSQL

Syntax

SAVEPOINT sp_name

Table 12.1.4.1 SAVEPOINT Statement Parameter
ParameterDescription

sp_name

Savepoint name. Available only in DSQL

The SAVEPOINT statement creates an SQL:99-compliant savepoint that acts as a marker in the stack of data activities within a transaction. Subsequently, the tasks performed in the stack can be undone back to this savepoint, leaving the earlier work and older savepoints untouched. Savepoint mechanisms are sometimes characterised as nested transactions.

If a savepoint already exists with the same name as the name supplied for the new one, the existing savepoint is released, and a new one is created using the supplied name.

To roll changes back to the savepoint, the statement ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT is used.

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Memory Considerations

The internal mechanism beneath savepoints can consume large amounts of memory, especially if the same rows receive multiple updates in one transaction. When a savepoint is no longer needed, but the transaction still has work to do, a Section 12.1.5, RELEASE SAVEPOINT statement will erase it and thus free the resources.

Sample DSQL session with savepoints

CREATE TABLE TEST (ID INTEGER);
COMMIT;
INSERT INTO TEST VALUES (1);
COMMIT;
INSERT INTO TEST VALUES (2);
SAVEPOINT Y;
DELETE FROM TEST;
SELECT * FROM TEST; -- returns no rows
ROLLBACK TO Y;
SELECT * FROM TEST; -- returns two rows
ROLLBACK;
SELECT * FROM TEST; -- returns one row

See alsoSection 12.1.3.2, ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT, Section 12.1.5, RELEASE SAVEPOINT

12.1.5 RELEASE SAVEPOINT

Used forErasing a savepoint

Available inDSQL

Syntax

RELEASE SAVEPOINT sp_name [ONLY]

Table 12.1.5.1 RELEASE SAVEPOINT Statement Parameter
ParameterDescription

sp_name

Savepoint name. Available only in DSQL

The statement RELEASE SAVEPOINT erases a named savepoint, freeing up all the resources it encompasses. By default, all the savepoints created after the named savepoint are released as well. The qualifier ONLY directs the engine to release only the named savepoint.

See alsoSection 12.1.4, SAVEPOINT

12.1.6 Internal Savepoints

By default, the engine uses an automatic transaction-level system savepoint to perform transaction rollback. When a ROLLBACK statement is issued, all changes performed in this transaction are backed out via a transaction-level savepoint, and the transaction is then committed. This logic reduces the amount of garbage collection caused by rolled back transactions.

When the volume of changes performed under a transaction-level savepoint is getting large (~50000 records affected), the engine releases the transaction-level savepoint and uses the Transaction Inventory Page (TIP) as a mechanism to roll back the transaction if needed.

☞︎
Tip

If you expect the volume of changes in your transaction to be large, you can specify the NO AUTO UNDO option in your SET TRANSACTION statement to block the creation of the transaction-level savepoint. Using the API instead, you would set the TPB flag isc_tpb_no_auto_undo.

12.1.7 Savepoints and PSQL

Transaction control statements are not allowed in PSQL, as that would break the atomicity of the statement that calls the procedure. However, Firebird does support the raising and handling of exceptions in PSQL, so that actions performed in stored procedures and triggers can be selectively undone without the entire procedure failing.

Internally, automatic savepoints are used to:

  • undo all actions in the BEGIN…​END block where an exception occurs

  • undo all actions performed by the procedure or trigger or, in a selectable procedure, all actions performed since the last SUSPEND, when execution terminates prematurely because of an uncaught error or exception

Each PSQL exception handling block is also bounded by automatic system savepoints.

🛈︎
Note

A BEGIN…​END block does not itself create an automatic savepoint. A savepoint is created only in blocks that contain the WHEN statement for handling exceptions.