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Concurrency in an OLTP environment

Why is concurrency important in an OLTP environment?

Concurrency simply means that many users can access data at the same time. If you didn't have the ability to access data concurrently, then you couldn't really have an OLTP system that would work effectively. For instance, if I accessed the employee table and the database didn't allow concurrent access, then another user would have to wait until I completed using the employee table before they could access it. Not good!

Oracle allows concurrent read access to data without running into locking issues (one user prevents another user from seeing/accessing the same data). In short, Oracle never locks data when you read it. Data is only locked when it is being written. Even during a write, users can still see the data, they just may see a version of the data as it looked prior to an update which may be in process (the term for this is called consistency).

Hope that helps!

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This was last published in March 2002

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