On Mon, 9 Apr 2001, Bob Hall wrote:

> >  MySQL is providing an SQL frontend to a
> >bunch of tables and indices, that is it ... it is up to the programmer to
> >handle the "managing of data" part where it revolves around being
> >relational ...
> I've developed database apps in which the data was inserted in
> batches, which meant that transactions were unnecessary. On the other
> hand, the apps needed an RDBMS to handle normalized tables.

Okay, so you start the insert, and one of the records in the batch failed
to insert ... then what?  You manually rollback the other ones?  A
"transaction" is effectively a batch ... if one of the batch fails, either
the programmer has to manually remember and roll everything back, or you
let the database itself handle it ..

> Futhermore, some datawarehousing and web projects involve relational
> databases that are inserted and updated in batches at night, making
> transactions unnecessary.

See above ... I have an application that loads ACT! data into a database
every night ... each contact in the system has something like 20-30 fields
associated with them ... if, for some reason, *one* of those fields fail
to insert properly, that contact is invalid, and the transaction that its
wrap'd in automatically rolls back everything I've done since the start of
the transaction, so that there is no record of that failed contact except
in my error log file ... no "incomplete" data, no stray data ...

batch or interactive doesn't matter ... its the data integrity that is
maintained by using transactions that is key ...

> I'm not trying to claim that MySQL can handle all types of db
> applications. MySQL is a niche product that was never designed to
> handle certain types of applications. My point is that whether a DBMS
> is relational depends on the structure of the data it deals with.
> Whether it needs to support transaction depends on the environment it
> operates in. I think that your point is that in an OLTP environment,
> lack of transaction support screws up the data to the point that the
> database becomes useless. I agree, but not all RDBMSs operate in an
> OLTP environment.

No, my point is that in any environment that needs the features of being
"relational" (data spread across multiple tables, link'd together), IMHO,
transactions are required in order to maintain data integrity *unless* the
programmer himself wants to take it upon himself to maintain this data
integrity in the application layer ...

... if data in table C requires that the data saved to table B was stored,
then if table B fails, the transaction should fail and the changes to
table A should be reversed automatically ... *shrug*  By extension, if the
data to table C fails for whatever reason, the data put to Tables A and
B should be automatically reversed ...

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