Simulating Distributed Transaction Failure - Oracle 10g

You can force the failure of a distributed transaction for the following reasons:

  • To observe RECO automatically resolving the local portion of the transaction
  • To practice manually resolving in-doubt distributed transactions and observing the results

This section describes the features available and the steps necessary to perform such operations.

Forcing a Distributed Transaction to Fail

You can include comments in the COMMENT parameter of the COMMIT statement. To intentionally induce a failure during the two-phase commit phases of a distributed transaction, include the following comment in the COMMENT parameter:


where n is one of the following integers:

Forcing a Distributed Transaction to Fail

For example, the following statement returns the following messages if the local commit point strength is greater than the remote commit point strength and both nodes are updated:

n Effect

  1. Crash commit point after collect
  2. Crash non-commit-point site after collect
  3. Crash before prepare (non-commit-point site)
  4. Crash after prepare (non-commit-point site)
  5. Crash commit point site before commit
  6. Crash commit point site after commit
  7. Crash non-commit-point site before commit
  8. Crash non-commit-point site after commit
  9. Crash commit point site before forget
  10. Crash non-commit-point site before forget

At this point, the in-doubt distributed transaction appears in the DBA_2PC_ PENDING view. If enabled, RECO automatically resolves the transaction.

Disabling and Enabling RECO

The RECO background process of an Oracle Database instance automatically resolves failures involving distributed transactions. At exponentially growing time intervals, the RECO background process of a node attempts to recover the local portion of an in-doubt distributed transaction.

RECO can use an existing connection or establish a new connection to other nodes involved in the failed transaction. When a connection is established, RECO automatically resolves all in-doubt transactions. Rows corresponding to any resolved in-doubt transactions are automatically removed from the pending transaction table of each database.

You can enable and disable RECO using the ALTER SYSTEM statement with the ENABLE/DISABLE DISTRIBUTED RECOVERY options. For example, you can temporarily disable RECO to force the failure of a two-phase commit and manually resolve the in-doubt transaction. The following statement disables RECO:


Alternatively, the following statement enables RECO so that in-doubt transactions are automatically resolved:


Managing Read Consistency

An important restriction exists in the Oracle Database implementation of distributed read consistency. The problem arises because each system has its own SCN, which you can view as the database internal timestamp. The Oracle Database server uses the SCN to decide which version of data is returned from a query.

The SCNs in a distributed transaction are synchronized at the end of each remote SQL statement and at the start and end of each transaction. Between two nodes that have heavy traffic and especially distributed updates, the synchronization is frequent. Nevertheless, no practical way exists to keep SCNs in a distributed system absolutely synchronized: a window always exists in which one node may have an SCN that is somewhat in the past with respect to the SCN of another node.

Because of the SCN gap, you can execute a query that uses a slightly old snapshot, so that the most recent changes to the remote database are not seen. In accordance with read consistency, a query can therefore retrieve consistent, but out -of -date data. Note that all data retrieved by the query will be from the old SCN, so that if a locally executed update transaction updates two tables at a remote node, then data selected from both tables in the next remote access contain data prior to the update.

One consequence of the SCN gap is that two consecutive SELECT statements can retrieve different data even though no DML has been executed between the two statements. For example, you can issue an update statement and then commit the update on the remote database. When you issue a SELECT statement on a view based on this remote table, the view does not show the update to the row. The next time that you issue the SELECT statement, the update is present.

You can use the following techniques to ensure that the SCNs of the two machines are synchronized just before a query:

  • Because SCNs are synchronized at the end of a remote query, precede each remote query with a dummy remote query to the same site, for example, SELECT * FROM DUAL@REMOTE.
  • Because SCNs are synchronized at the start of every remote transaction, commit or roll back the current transaction before issuing the remote query.

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