Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Atomicity

  • Gerhard Weikum
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_28

Definition

The atomicity of actions on a database is a fundamental guarantee that database systems provide to application programs. Whatever state modifications an atomic action may perform are guaranteed to be executed in an all-or-nothing manner: either all state changes caused by the action will be installed in the database or none. This property is important in the potential presence of failures that could interrupt the atomic action. The database system prepares itself for this case by logging state modifications and providing automated recovery as part of the failure handling or system restart. These implementation aspects are transparent to the application program and are thus a major relief for the programs’ failure handling and boost the application development productivity.

Historical Background

Since the early 1970s (or even earlier), transaction processing systems for airline reservations and debit/credit banking had means for recovery and concurrency control that were...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Barga RS, Lomet DB, Shegalov G, Weikum G. Recovery guarantees for internet applications. ACM Trans Internet Technol. 2004;4(3):289–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bernstein PA, Hadzilacos V, Goodman N. Concurrency control and recovery in database systems. Reading: Addison-Wesley, MS; 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bjork LA. Recovery scenario for a DB/DC system. In: Proceedings of the ACM Annual Conference; 1973. p. 142–6.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davies CT. Recovery semantics for a DB/DC system. In: Proceedings of 1st ACM Annual Conference; 1973. p. 136–41.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Elmagarmid AK, editor. Database transaction models for advanced applications. San Fransisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 1992.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Eswaran KP, Gray J, Lorie RA, Traiger IL. The notions of consistency and predicate locks in a database system. Commun ACM. 1976;19(11):624–33.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gray J. Notes on database operating systems. In: Operating systems – an advanced course. London: Springer; 1978.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gray J, Reuter A. Transaction processing: concepts and techniques. San Fransisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 1993.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jajodia S, Kerschberg L, editors. Advanced transaction models and architectures. Noewell: Kluwer; 1997.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jones CB, Lomet DB, Romanovsky AB, Weikum G, Fekete A, Gaudel M-C, Korth HF, Rogério de Lemos J, Moss EB, Rajwar R, Ramamritham K, Randell B, Rodrigues L. The atomic manifesto: a story in four quarks. ACM SIGMOD Rec. 2005;34(1):63–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Lampson B. Atomic transactions. In: Distributed systems – \architecture and implementation. New York: Springer; 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lomet DB. Process structuring, synchronization, and recovery using atomic actions. In: Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Language Design for Reliable Software; 1977. p. 128–37.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Randell B. System structure for software fault-tolerance. IEEE Trans Softw Eng. 1975;1(2):221–32.MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Weikum G, Vossen G. Transactional information systems: theory, algorithms, and the practice of concurrency control and recovery. San Fransisco: Morgan Kaufmann; 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department 5: Databases and Information SystemsMax-Planck-Institut für InformatikSaarbrückenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Gottfried Vossen
    • 1
  1. 1.Dep. of Inf. SystemsWestf. Wilhelms-UniveristätMünsterGermany