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MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual
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Excerpts from this Manual

14.5.2.2 autocommit, Commit, and Rollback

In InnoDB, all user activity occurs inside a transaction. If autocommit mode is enabled, each SQL statement forms a single transaction on its own. By default, MySQL starts the session for each new connection with autocommit enabled, so MySQL does a commit after each SQL statement if that statement did not return an error. If a statement returns an error, the commit or rollback behavior depends on the error. See Section 14.21.4, “InnoDB Error Handling”.

A session that has autocommit enabled can perform a multiple-statement transaction by starting it with an explicit START TRANSACTION or BEGIN statement and ending it with a COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement. See Section 13.3.1, “START TRANSACTION, COMMIT, and ROLLBACK Syntax”.

If autocommit mode is disabled within a session with SET autocommit = 0, the session always has a transaction open. A COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement ends the current transaction and a new one starts.

If a session that has autocommit disabled ends without explicitly committing the final transaction, MySQL rolls back that transaction.

Some statements implicitly end a transaction, as if you had done a COMMIT before executing the statement. For details, see Section 13.3.3, “Statements That Cause an Implicit Commit”.

A COMMIT means that the changes made in the current transaction are made permanent and become visible to other sessions. A ROLLBACK statement, on the other hand, cancels all modifications made by the current transaction. Both COMMIT and ROLLBACK release all InnoDB locks that were set during the current transaction.

Grouping DML Operations with Transactions

By default, connection to the MySQL server begins with autocommit mode enabled, which automatically commits every SQL statement as you execute it. This mode of operation might be unfamiliar if you have experience with other database systems, where it is standard practice to issue a sequence of DML statements and commit them or roll them back all together.

To use multiple-statement transactions, switch autocommit off with the SQL statement SET autocommit = 0 and end each transaction with COMMIT or ROLLBACK as appropriate. To leave autocommit on, begin each transaction with START TRANSACTION and end it with COMMIT or ROLLBACK. The following example shows two transactions. The first is committed; the second is rolled back.

shell> mysql test

mysql> CREATE TABLE customer (a INT, b CHAR (20), INDEX (a));
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> -- Do a transaction with autocommit turned on.
mysql> START TRANSACTION;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> INSERT INTO customer VALUES (10, 'Heikki');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> COMMIT;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> -- Do another transaction with autocommit turned off.
mysql> SET autocommit=0;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> INSERT INTO customer VALUES (15, 'John');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> INSERT INTO customer VALUES (20, 'Paul');
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> DELETE FROM customer WHERE b = 'Heikki';
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> -- Now we undo those last 2 inserts and the delete.
mysql> ROLLBACK;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
mysql> SELECT * FROM customer;
+------+--------+
| a    | b      |
+------+--------+
|   10 | Heikki |
+------+--------+
1 row in set (0.00 sec)
mysql>
Transactions in Client-Side Languages

In APIs such as PHP, Perl DBI, JDBC, ODBC, or the standard C call interface of MySQL, you can send transaction control statements such as COMMIT to the MySQL server as strings just like any other SQL statements such as SELECT or INSERT. Some APIs also offer separate special transaction commit and rollback functions or methods.


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