without save points and rollback what is the best way
to replace all records for a user that might have been
edited with their new values.

I have read the mySQL manual about this.

Update is out of the question (as the manual
suggests).  I can't track which ones changed, because
they could have been reordered or overwritten.

my approach which I know sucks is this:

insert all the new records with a flag attached to
each one.

if insert goes ok, delete all the ones without the
flag that belong to that user and turn flag off the
newly inserted ones.

this way if something happens in the insert, i still
have the old data in there. as opposed to delete, than
insert, and if insert fails, rollback before delete.

I know there must be a common good solution to this. 
can someone please fill me in?



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