By now most application developers are familiar with the strong guarantees provided by an ACID-compliant database: transactions are guaranteed to be atomic, consistent, isolated, and durable. While some newer databases are providing looser guarantees, it’s important to understand why ACID transactions are desirable in the first place, to understand why they are a key feature of our Clusterpoint database. Here are three good reasons you should insist on a database that provides ACID transaction guarantees when designing and developing your application.
Developers Should Spend Their Time Thinking About the Application, Not the Database
With the guarantees provided by an ACID database, developers don’t have to spend as much time worrying about what happens when database operations fail. The atomic nature of updates, and the isolation of reads give developers important ground to stand on when thinking about how the application interacts with the database. If a multi-step operation fails, you no longer have to worry about how to return the database to a known good state-- the database will roll everything back.
This is especially important because in most applications the most important resource is developer time. Any time developers spend worrying about the complicated state of their database is time that they’re not spending on core application logic. ACID transactions make it easier to reason about how the database layer handles data, and what happens when it fails. With those concerns out of the way, you free up a lot of energy to focus on what really matters.
Writing Data Reliably is Crucial
Knowing that your data is reliably written to the database is fundamental to database guarantees. Once writes fail, it’s easy for your application to veer off into a state that’s hard to recover from: small inconsistencies can build up into large problems. What’s worse is that these small inconsistencies may be difficult to notice until it’s too late. With ACID guarantees you can rest comfortably knowing that each transaction, once committed, becomes the new, preserved state of the database.
Data drives application development, and accurately storing data that’s written to it is the most fundamental guarantee of a database. ACID transactions eliminate a whole class of problems by ensuring that you know exactly what state your data is in once you receive confirmation it’s written.
Interested to find out more about ACID transactions? Check out our white paper available here.
Transactions Make Your Life As a Developer Easier
Simply put, transactions are the most natural model for reasoning about how databases should work. Organizing the database work into logical units allows easier understanding of what a particular piece of code is meant to do, and makes debugging and editing the code later on much easier.
ACID guarantees are meant to make it easier to work with a database by making it simpler to understand the result of a database operation. Transactions are the primary mechanism for doing so, and should be used as liberally as possible to make sure you know the intended and actual result of any interaction with your database.
ACID transactions are the gold standard in judging databases for a reason: they make our lives simpler as developers. Clusterpoint provides strong ACID guarantees with support for transactions as a primary feature. This makes your life easier as a developer, and gives you some initial guarantees about the reliability of the database.
ACID guarantees are the strictest you can find. As a developer, you should insist on databases that do as much work as possible for you. A database solution with ACID guarantees, such as Clusterpoint, allows you to be comfortable knowing that you can spend more time building your product, and less time worrying about what the database is doing.