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can anyone explain me the concept of Serialization in Detail
and Clear? plz its urgent i have interview on friday (15th feb)
 Question Submitted By :: SQL-Server
I also faced this Question!!     Answer Posted By  
# 1
to this u need to know all other Isolation levelels

Transaction Isolation Levels
Closely tied in with the modes and methods of locking is
the transaction isolation level. To understand the new
locking behavior, you need to understand the four
transaction isolation levels in SQL Server 7.0: Uncommitted
Read (also called "dirty read"), Committed Read, Repeatable
Read, and Serializable.
The isolation level that your transaction runs in
determines how sensitive your application is to changes
other users' transactions make, and consequently, how long
your transaction must hold locks to protect against these
changes. The ANSI SQL standard defines four levels of
transaction isolation. Although previous versions of SQL
Server let you specify all four distinct levels of
transaction isolation, there were only three different
behaviors because SQL Server internally treated two of the
syntactic specifications (i.e., Repeatable Read and
Serializable) as synonymous.
You can change the level of isolation that a particular
connection is operating in by using the SET TRANSACTION
ISOLATION LEVEL command. Keep in mind that the SET command
applies only to your current connection, and every time you
make a new connection (or open a new window in the Query
Analyzer), you'll be back in the default isolation level.
I'll use each of the four isolation levels in the examples
to follow.
To see how each level behaves, you can use the script in
Listing 1, page 20, to create a table with a few rows in
it. I'll refer back to this table in examples for each of
the four isolation levels.
Uncommitted Read, or dirty read, lets a transaction read
any data currently on a data page, whether or not that data
has been committed. For example, although another user
might have a transaction in progress that has updated data,
and that transaction is holding exclusive locks on the
data, your transaction can read the data anyway, and
possibly take further actions based on the values you read.
The other user might then decide to roll back his or her
transaction, so logically, those changes never occurred.
Although this scenario isn't desirable, with Uncommitted
Read you won't get stuck waiting for a lock, nor will your
reads acquire share locks that might affect others.
Let's see how Uncommitted Read behaves. Use the SQL Server
7.0 Query Analyzer, and start two separate connections. Use
the pubs database in each one. In the first connection,
begin a transaction, but don't commit it:
SET col2 = 'New Value'
<click the green arrow to execute >
Now, use the second connection, and change your isolation
level before trying to access the same table.
<click the green arrow to execute >
All the values in col1 are 0, even though the transaction
in the first connection has not committed yet. In fact, the
transaction might never commit. If you took some action
based on the fact that all the values are 0, you could
regret it if the changes turned out not to be permanent.
Back in the first connection, roll back the transaction:
<click the green arrow to execute >
Now rerun the SELECT statement in the second connection to
see that all the values are back to what they were before.
If you're following along with these examples, make sure
you close your connections after each one, so that all
outstanding locks are released.
Committed Read is SQL Server's default isolation level. It
ensures that an operation will never read data another
application has changed but not yet committed. Because you
can never read uncommitted data, if a transaction running
with Committed Read isolation revisits data, that data
might have changed, or new rows might appear that meet the
criteria of the original query. Rows that appear in this
way are called phantoms.
So Committed Read behavior has two aspects. To see the
first aspect, you can run the above example, without
setting the second connection to use isolation level Read
Uncommitted. The second connect would then block on the
SELECT statement; it can't read the changes the first
connection has made but not yet committed (or rolled back).
To see the second Committed Read behavior, close all the
connections in the Query Analyzer from the previous
example, and open two new connections using pubs again. In
the first connection, run the following batch:
<click the green arrow to execute >
In the second connection, update the table:
SET col1 = 500 WHERE col1 = 50
<click the green arrow to execute >
Notice that the update is successful, even though the first
connection is still inside a transaction.
Go back to the first connection and run the same SELECT
<click the green arrow to execute >
The average value is now different. The default isolation
level does not prevent another connection from changing
data you have read. Because you are not guaranteed to see
the same data if you rerun the SELECT within the
transaction, the read operations are not guaranteed to be
If you want the read operations to be repeatable, choose
the third isolation level. The Repeatable Read isolation
level adds to the properties of Committed Read by ensuring
that if a transaction revisits data or if a query is
reissued, the data will not have changed. In other words,
issuing the same query twice within a transaction won't
pick up any changes to data values that another user's
transaction has made. No other user can modify the data
that your transaction visits as long as you have not yet
committed or rolled back your transaction.
To see Repeatable Read behavior, close all the connections,
and open two new ones in pubs. Issue the same two queries
as above, but this time, have the first connection SET
The second connection will have to use a slightly different
update statement, because the value of 50 for col1 no
longer exists:
SET col1 = 5000 WHERE col1 = 500
<click the green arrow to execute >
This update will block when it tries to update the
ISOLATION_TEST table. And the first connection will get the
same result when it reissues its original SELECT.
Preventing nonrepeatable reads is a desirable safeguard,
but it comes at a price. The cost of this extra safeguard
is that all the shared locks in a transaction must be held
until the completion (COMMIT or ROLLBACK) of the
However, Repeatable Read isolation doesn't prevent all
possible changes. It protects only the data that you have
read. The following example shows you what this protection
means. Close all connections, and open two new ones
connecting to pubs. In the first connection, start a
transaction in Repeatable Read isolation level and look for
all rows that meet a certain condition.
<click the green arrow to execute >
In the second connection, insert a new row:
VALUES (25, 'New Row')
<click the green arrow to execute >
Go back to the first connection, and reexecute the SELECT:
<click the green arrow to execute >
The second time you execute the same statement, the new row
appears. Because the row doesn't even exist the first time
you run the SELECT statement, it isn't locked. This new row
that appears is called a phantom. You can prevent phantoms
with the fourth isolation level.
The Serializable isolation level ensures that if a query is
reissued, no data will have changed and no new rows will
appear in the interim. In other words, you won't see
phantoms if the same query is issued twice within a
transaction. Rerun the example from the Repeatable Reads
section, inserting a row with a col1 value of 35. But this
time, set your isolation level to SERIALIZABLE. The second
connection will block when you try to do the INSERT, and
the first connection will read exactly the same rows each
You pay a price to prevent phantoms. In addition to locking
all the data you have read, enforcing the Serializable
isolation level requires that SQL Server also lock data
that doesn't exist! The Serializable level gets its name
from the fact that running multiple serializable
transactions at the same time is the equivalent of running
them one at a time&#8212;that is, serially&#8212;regardless of sequence.
Controlling the Isolation Level SQL Server's default
isolation level is Committed Read, but as you've seen, you
can override this setting within your application. The most
straightforward way is by using the SET command:
Previous versions of SQL Server treated Repeatable Read and
Serializable as synonymous. I thought the difference was
that Repeatable Reads prevented UPDATE operations, and
Serializable prevented INSERTs and DELETEs. But the
difference is in what data is locked. Repeatable Read locks
only the data that has been read. With Serializable, SQL
Server has to guarantee complete serializability, so it
locks ranges of data.
Previous versions of SQL Server gave you no way to
distinguish between these two levels, because the smallest
unit of locking was an entire page. Locking the page
containing the col1 values between 20, 30, and 40 prevented
changes to those specific rows but also prevented inserts
anywhere on the same page. With row-level locking, SQL
Server 7.0 can lock only the accessed rows. SQL Server 7.0
also introduced a new kind of lock to lock the ranges of
data between two rows, which I'll discuss in an upcoming
Is This Answer Correct ?    4 Yes 2 No

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