A Sneak Peek Into Transactional Databases

  • Category: PHPDots 
  • Written by: Jitendra Rathod
  • Date: October 21, 2022
A Sneak Peek Into Transactional Databases

Transactional databases read and write individual data rows instead of columns. Moreover, they are a great choice for institutions like banks and other retail applications as data integrity is the priority. Today, we are having a sneak peek at how transactional databases work, and how you, as a business owner can benefit from them. So without further ado, let’s start.

 

Introduction: What are Transactional Databases?

A transactional database is a DBMS (Database Management System) that is able to reverse or scale back a transaction that was not performed correctly. In a data matrix, it can have one or more data-manipulation inquiries or instructions for writing and reading records.

Since transactional databases store the data in rows, if you need to know something about a customer, you can access it in one go—their address, preferences, what did they purchase, etc.  Here, if a client wants to access a record, the transactional DBMS will extract every piece of information available for that particular record.

Compared to that, traditional databases save each piece of information separately. In the transactional database, the query will scan each row of the data before it displays the rows that were searched.

So how does this nature of transactional databases help? To understand that, we first need to understand ACID, a set of properties that preserve data integrity in transactional databases.

 

ACID Compliance & Its Importance

ACID is an acronym, and it stands for Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability. These properties make a strong case for Transactional Databases for production houses, from retail stores to banks. Here’s the definition of each ACID property in the transactional database.

Atomicity

If you have ever executed a digital money transfer, you will know how it works. Unless the money is debited from your bank account and received by the recipient’s bank account, a transaction is not completed. From your bank server to the payment gateway, even if one element fails, the transaction will be reversed.

Similarly, in a transactional database, if a single element of the transaction fails, it is not committed to the database. The entire transaction is considered a failed transaction. That provides the integrity of the data like no other.

Consistency

The name says it all. Transactional databases would either write a transaction from one state to another, or it will be reverted. Once again, this will help you keep the data intact.

Isolation

The transactions in the process will stay isolated. If a transaction is not completed, one cannot modify or act on it.

Durability

Durability refers to one of the most important properties of transactional databases. Here, if a transaction is once written to the database, it will stay there even in the case of database failure.

These qualities sure make an exciting case for transactional databases. Now, let’s see how it can benefit you.

 

How Can You Benefit From Transactional Databases?

Here is how transactional databases can help you.

Security & Accuracy of Data

For businesses where data integrity is everything, the ACID compliance of transactional databases is the key factor in maintaining that. ACID properties ensure the writing of the data succeeds only if all the elements check the box, otherwise, it fails altogether. For accuracy in data security and integrity, this plays a significant part.

Flexibility

Transactional databases allow you to keep the system’s basic architecture as it is even when you are accessing data storage by creating the interfaces. One can also modify certain data without interfering with critical data on the database. Since a transactional database keeps data in a limited context like this, it is also easier for users to recover history.

Quick Operations

Transactional databases come with low-latency operations, and we are talking about milliseconds here. The transactional replica of your production database is most likely to be in sync with your production database, for lightning-speed operations.

OS Management

Since there is no or very little latency between the replica and the main database, it is easy to monitor the workloads, inventories, or any other operating systems. This also keeps providing the data as fresh as possible.

 

Are There Any Disadvantages?

Granted, transactional databases are highly functional and for those who need high-end data integrity, it makes perfect sense. However, there are some things you need to consider, which may or may not make transactional databases a good choice for you. Here they are.

  • The data in transactional databases is normalized and it only has an ‘insert only’ function. This means, a visitor may face a tough time looking for information and it can lead to confusion.
  • The transactional database will require significant memory space and CPU. Not only that, database management is costly in itself with complex technology and setting up of the assets. Add that to transactional databases’ requirements and it can take the costs high.
  • It can be a challenge to program transactional databases since these offer a wide range of features and resolve many data issues. The skills required to create a transactional database would be high, or it may not work the way it was supposed to.
  • When you are working with a replica of your main database, using it as an analytical or research tool, you won’t be able to write the data. Even if you do, it will not reflect on the database server.

 

Examples of Transactional Databases

Some popular transactional databases are:

MySQL, where you can start with a public network and then move on to a corporate system.

SQLite, a C library that is included in the final product, unlike other DBMS solutions. It is ideal for smartphone devices.

Oracle, a well-written, easy-to-use database solution, with capabilities of JSON from SQL.

Microsoft Access, a DBMS from Microsoft that integrates the Microsoft Jet Database Engine and software applications along with a user interface.

 

Summing It Up

Transactional databases make a perfect choice for production houses and retailers with their data integrity and security, thanks to ACID compliance. It can be complex to code and prove to be costly, but for the right users, it can prove to be a game changer.


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