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DBMS Database Programming Manual

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The KEEP statement can also transfer database key values from one keeplist to another. For example:


This statement copies the second-positioned database key value in KEEPLIST-1 to the end of KEEPLIST-2.

The FREE statement removes database key value entries from a keeplist. For example:


This statement removes all the entries from KEEPLIST-1.

You can remove keeplist entries by identifying their ordinal position within the keeplist. For example:


This statement removes the fifth-positioned database key value from KEEPLIST-2. Removing a keeplist entry changes the position of all the following entries. For example, after freeing entry 5, entry 6 becomes the fifth-positioned entry, entry 7 becomes the sixth-positioned entry, and so forth. The FREE statement changes the ordinal position of a database key value in the keeplist, not its contents.

5.14.3 Transactions and Quiet Points

You generally segment your run unit into transactions, bounded instances of run-unit activity. A transaction begins with the first DML statement in the run unit or with a READY statement that follows a COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement; continues through a series of DML data access statements; and ends with either a COMMIT statement, a ROLLBACK statement, or the termination of the run unit. Before the initial READY statement is issued, after the COMMIT or ROLLBACK, and before the next READY, the run unit is at a quiet point. A quiet point is the time that exists between the last executed COMMIT or ROLLBACK statement and the next READY statement, or the time prior to the first executed READY statement.

The Quiet Point---Transaction---Quiet Point continuum provides the DBCS with a structure that allows it to control access to and ensure the integrity of your data. To implement this control, the DBCS uses currency indicators and locking. Figure 5-33 shows the segmentation of a run unit into transactions and quiet points.

Figure 5-33 Transactions and Quiet Points

Chapter 6
DML Programming---Tips and Techniques

We've gathered some tips and techniques you can use to improve program performance and reduce development and debugging time. These include special use of modes, indicators, conditions and statements, as well as debugging techniques.

6.1 The Ready Modes

Proper use of the READY usage modes can improve system performance.

You inform the DBCS of your record-locking requirements when you issue the READY command. The command takes the form:

READY <allow-mode> <access-mode>


READY <access-mode> <allow-mode>

The allow- and the access-mode arguments pass your requirements to the DBCS.

The allow-mode object of the READY command indicates what you will allow other run units to do while your run unit works with storage areas within the realm you readied. There are four different allow modes as follows:

CONCURRENT Permits other run units to ready the same realm or realms that contain the same storage areas as the realms your run unit readied. CONCURRENT also allows other run units to perform any DML function on those storage areas, including updates.
PROTECTED Permits other run units to use the same storage areas as your run unit, but does not allow those run units to update records in the storage areas.
EXCLUSIVE Prohibits other run units from even reading records from the restricted storage areas.
BATCH Allows concurrent run units to update the realm. BATCH also allows you to access or update any data in the realm while preventing concurrent run units from accessing or updating the realm.

While the allow mode says what your run unit will allow other run units to do, the access mode says that your run unit will either read or write records (RETRIEVAL or UPDATE).

Because the UPDATE access mode can lock out other users, use it only for applications that perform database updates. If an application accesses the database for inquiries only, use the RETRIEVAL access mode. The RETRIEVAL mode also prevents a run unit from accidentally updating the database.

The combination of the allow mode and the access mode is called the usage mode. There are eight READY usage modes as follows:

  • PROTECTED RETRIEVAL (the system default)

Use the CONCURRENT usage modes for applications requiring separate run units to simultaneously access the database. They allow other run units to perform a READY statement on your realm, and possibly change or delete the database records in that realm.

Use the PROTECTED usage modes only when unrestricted access might produce incorrect or incomplete results. Protected access prevents other run units from making changes to the data in your realm. However, run units in RETRIEVAL mode can still access (read-only) your realm.

Use the EXCLUSIVE usage modes only when you want to lock out all other users. The EXCLUSIVE mode speeds processing for your run unit and prevents other run units from executing a READY statement on your realm. When you specify EXCLUSIVE access, use only the realms you need. Eliminating the use of unnecessary realms minimizes lockout. Use the EXCLUSIVE allow mode to get the best performance from a single run-unit application. Care must be taken, however, because other run units are locked out and must wait for the exclusive run unit to finish before it can begin operations.

Use the BATCH RETRIEVAL usage mode for concurrent run units to update the realm. Use the BATCH UPDATE usage mode to access or update any data in the realm while preventing concurrent run units from accessing or updating the realm.

For more information on READY usage mode conflicts, see the READY statement in the READY. It summarizes the effects of usage mode options on run units readying the same realms.

6.1.1 Record Locking

Concurrent run units can reference realms that map to the same storage area; the same records can be requested by more than one transaction at the same time. If two different transactions were allowed to modify the same data, that data would be rendered invalid. Each modification to the original data would be made in ignorance of other modifications, and with unpredictable results. Oracle CODASYL DBMS preserves the integrity of data shared by multiple transactions. It also provides levels and degrees of record locking. You can control access to, or lock:

  • All records in a realm you intend to access
  • Individual records as they are retrieved by DML statements

You can also lock records totally or allow some retrieval functions.

Record locking begins with the execution of the first READY statement in the run unit. At that time the DBCS is told of your storage area locking requirements. If you specify EXCLUSIVE allow mode, no other run unit is allowed to access records in the specified realms. This is all the locking that the DBCS need do. If you specify CONCURRENT or PROTECTED modes, the DBCS initiates locking at the record level.

Individual records are locked as they are retrieved by the run unit. The degree of locking depends on the specific DML command used. For example, if your run unit executes a FETCH or FIND statement, the DBCS sets a read-only record lock, allowing other run units to read, but not update, the records. This lock is also set if your run unit assigns the database key associated with the record to a keeplist with the KEEP verb. (Note if you use FETCH or FIND FOR UPDATE, a no-read lock is placed on the specified record.)

As a record is retrieved, the lock is held at this level until there are no more currency indicators pointing to the record. If the program assigns a record to a keeplist, the lock is held by your run unit until it frees the record from the keeplist with a FREE statement. However, if a currency indicator points to a record whose database key is also in a keeplist, then a FREE statement to that keeplist entry still leaves the read-only lock active for that record. Similarly, if the same database key is in several keeplists, then freeing it from one keeplist does not release the other read-only locks.

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