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MongoDB Transactions: Your Very First Transaction with MongoDB 4.0

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MongoDB Transactions: Your Very First Transaction with MongoDB 4.0

MongoDB 4.0 is just around the corner, and with rc0, we can get a good idea of what we can expect in the GA version.

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MongoDB 4.0 is just around the corner, and with rc0, we can get a good idea of what to expect in the GA version. MongoDB 4.0 will allow transactions to run in a replica set, and in a future release, the MongoDB transaction will be cluster-wide. This is a really big change!

Multi-statement transactions are a big deal for a lot of companies. The transactions feature has been in development since MongoDB version 3.6 when sessions were added. Now we will be able to see how both sessions and transactions work. In an earlier article, we highlighted a few details from what was delivered in 3.6 that indicated that 4.0 would have transactions.

There are a few limitations for transactions and some operations are not allowed yet. A detailed list can be found in the MongoDB documentation of the Session.startTransaction() method.

One restriction that we must be aware of is that the collection MUST exist in order to use transactions.

A simple transaction will be declared in a very similar way to that we use for other databases. The caveat is that we need to start a session before starting a transaction. This means that multi-statement transactions are not the default behavior to write to the database.

How to Use Transactions in MongoDB® 4.0

Download MongoDB 4.0 RC (or you can install it from the repositories).

wget https://fastdl.mongodb.org/linux/mongodb-linux-x86_64-ubuntu1604-4.0.0-rc1.tgz

Uncompress the files:

tar -xvzf mongodb-linux-x86_64-ubuntu1604-4.0.0-rc1.tgz

Rename the folder to mongo4.0 and create the data folder inside of the bin folder:

mv mongodb-linux-x86_64-ubuntu1604-4.0.0-rc1 mongo4.0
cd mongo4.0
cd bin
mkdir data

Start the database process:
Important: in order to have multi-statement transactions replica-set must be enabled.

./mongod --dbpath data --logpath data/log.log --fork --replSet foo

Initialize the replica-set:

> rs.initiate()
foo:Primary> use percona
foo:Primary> db.createCollection('test')

Start a session and then a transaction:

session = db.getMongo().startSession()
session.startTransaction()
session.getDatabase("percona").test.insert({today : new Date()})
session.getDatabase("percona").test.insert({some_value : "abc"})

Then you can decide whether to commit the transaction or abort it:

session.commitTransaction()
session.abortTransaction()

If the startTransaction throws the IllegalOperation error, make sure the database is running with replica set.

Transaction Isolation Level in MongoDB 4.0: Snapshot Isolation

MongoDB 4.0 implements snapshot isolation for the transactions. The pending uncommitted changes are only visible inside the session context (the session which has started the transaction) and are not visible outside. Here is an example:

Connection 1:

foo:PRIMARY> use percona
switched to db percona
foo:PRIMARY>  db.createCollection('test')
{
        "ok" : 1,
        "operationTime" : Timestamp(1528903182, 1),
        "$clusterTime" : {
                "clusterTime" : Timestamp(1528903182, 1),
                "signature" : {
                        "hash" : BinData(0,"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA="),
                        "keyId" : NumberLong(0)
                }
        }
}
foo:PRIMARY> session = db.getMongo().startSession()
session { "id" : UUID("bdd82af7-ab9d-4cd3-9238-f08ee928f31e") }
foo:PRIMARY> session.startTransaction()
foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.insert({today : new Date()})
WriteResult({ "nInserted" : 1 })
foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.insert({some_value : "abc"})
WriteResult({ "nInserted" : 1 })

Connection 2: starting second transaction in its own session:

foo:PRIMARY> use percona
switched to db percona
foo:PRIMARY> db.test.find()
foo:PRIMARY> db.test.find()
foo:PRIMARY> session = db.getMongo().startSession()
session { "id" : UUID("eb628bfd-425e-450c-a51b-733435474eaa") }
foo:PRIMARY> session.startTransaction()
foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.find()
foo:PRIMARY>

Connection 1: commit

foo:PRIMARY> session.commitTransaction()

Connection 2: after connection1 commits:

foo:PRIMARY> db.test.find()
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5b21361252bbe6e5b9a70a4e"), "today" : ISODate("2018-06-13T15:19:46.645Z") }
{ "_id" : ObjectId("5b21361252bbe6e5b9a70a4f"), "some_value" : "abc" }

Outside of the session, it sees the new values, however, inside the opened session, it will not see the new values.

foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.find()
foo:PRIMARY>

Now, if we commit the transaction inside connection 2 it will commit as well, and we will have 2 rows now (as there are no conflicts).

Sometimes, however, we may see the transient transaction error when committing or even doing find() inside a session:

foo:PRIMARY> session.commitTransaction()
2018-06-14T21:56:29.111+0000 E QUERY    [js] Error: command failed: {
        "errorLabels" : [
                "TransientTransactionError"
        ],
        "operationTime" : Timestamp(1529013385, 1),
        "ok" : 0,
        "errmsg" : "Transaction 0 has been aborted.",
        "code" : 251,
        "codeName" : "NoSuchTransaction",
        "$clusterTime" : {
                "clusterTime" : Timestamp(1529013385, 1),
                "signature" : {
                        "hash" : BinData(0,"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA="),
                        "keyId" : NumberLong(0)
                }
        }
} :
_getErrorWithCode@src/mongo/shell/utils.js:25:13
doassert@src/mongo/shell/assert.js:18:14
_assertCommandWorked@src/mongo/shell/assert.js:520:17
assert.commandWorked@src/mongo/shell/assert.js:604:16
commitTransaction@src/mongo/shell/session.js:878:17
@(shell):1:1

From the MongoDB doc we can read that we could retry the transaction back when we have this error.

If an operation encounters an error, the returned error may have an errorLabels array field. If the error is a transient error, the errorLabels array field contains "TransientTransactionError" as an element and the transaction as a whole can be retried.

MongoDB Transactions: Conflict

What about transaction conflicts in MongoDB? Let's say we are updating the same row. Here is the demo:

First, we create a record, trx, in the collection:

use percona
db.test.insert({trx : 0})

Then we create session1 and update trx to change from 0 to 1:

foo:PRIMARY> session = db.getMongo().startSession()
session { "id" : UUID("0b7b8ce0-919a-401a-af01-69fe90876301") }
foo:PRIMARY> session.startTransaction()
foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.update({trx : 0}, {trx: 1})
WriteResult({ "nMatched" : 1, "nUpserted" : 0, "nModified" : 1 })

Then (before committing) create another session which will try to change from 0 to 2:

foo:PRIMARY> session = db.getMongo().startSession()
session { "id" : UUID("b312c662-247c-47c5-b0c9-23d77f4e9f6d") }
foo:PRIMARY> session.startTransaction()
foo:PRIMARY> session.getDatabase("percona").test.update({trx : 0}, {trx: 2})
WriteCommandError({
        "errorLabels" : [
                "TransientTransactionError"
        ],
        "operationTime" : Timestamp(1529675754, 1),
        "ok" : 0,
        "errmsg" : "WriteConflict",
        "code" : 112,
        "codeName" : "WriteConflict",
        "$clusterTime" : {
                "clusterTime" : Timestamp(1529675754, 1),
                "signature" : {
                        "hash" : BinData(0,"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA="),
                        "keyId" : NumberLong(0)
                }
        }
})

As we can see, MongoDB catches the conflict and return the error on the insert (even before the commit).

We hope this post, with its simple example of how transactions will work, has been useful. Feedback is welcome: you can comment here, catch Adamo on twitter @AdamoTonete, or talk to the team at @percona.

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Topics:
database ,mongodb 4.0 ,mongodb ,transactions

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