In Oracle's database products, an autonomous transaction is an independent transaction that is initiated by another transaction. It must contain at least one Structured Query Language (SQL) statement. Autonomous transactions allow a single transaction to be subdivided into multiple commit/rollback transactions, each of which will be tracked for auditing purposes.
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When an autonomous transaction is called, the original transaction (calling transaction) is temporarily suspended. The autonomous transaction must commit or roll back before it returns control to the calling transaction. Once changes have been made by an autonomous transaction, those changes are visible to other transactions in the database.
Autonomous transactions can be nested. That is, an autonomous transaction can operate as a calling transaction, initializing other autonomous transactions within itself. In theory, there is no limit to the possible number of nesting levels.