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Version: 3.11

How to run two-phase commit transaction

ScalarDB GraphQL supports two-phase commit style transactions called Two-phase Commit Transactions. With Two-phase Commit Transactions, you can execute a transaction that spans multiple processes/applications (e.g., Microservices). We name the application that starts a transaction "coordinator" while the applications that join the transaction are named "participants". Every two-phase commit operation requires annotating the mutation or query operation with a @twoPhaseCommit directive. Below is a description of such operations.

Start a transaction

To start a transaction, add the @twoPhaseCommit directive without setting parameters.

query some_query @twoPhaseCommit {
# some query

The transaction ID of the started transaction will be returned in the extensions object that is part of the result.

"data": {
"extensions": {
"transaction": {
"id": "the_transaction_id"

Join a transaction (for participants)

In a participant application, to join the transaction started by a coordinator application, set the transaction ID with the id parameter and set the join parameter to true.

query some_query_from_participant @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id", join:true) {
# some query

Resume a transaction

To continue executing operations in the started or joined transaction, set the transaction ID value in the id parameter of @twoPhaseCommit directive.

mutation some_mutation @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id") {
# some mutation

Prepare, validate and commit a transaction

After finishing the query and mutation operations, you need to commit the transaction. Like a well-known two-phase commit protocol, there are two phases: prepare and commit. You first need to prepare the transaction in all the coordinator/participant applications, and then you need to commit the transaction in all the coordinator/participant applications.

If the Consensus Commit transaction manager is configured with the EXTRA_READ serializable strategy in SERIALIZABLE isolation level, an extra "validate" phase is required between prepare and commit phases. Similarly to prepare and commit, validate need to be executed in all the coordinator/participants applications.

Prepare, validate and commit can be executed in parallel with all the coordinator/participants applications.

Prepare a transaction

Two options are possible to prepare a two-phase commit transaction.

Via the directive parameter

By using the prepare parameter of the directive, the transaction will be prepared after the execution of the operation fields and only if they do not raise an error.

mutation some_mutation_then_prepare_tx @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id", prepare:true) {
mutation1 : ...
mutation2 : ...
# the transaction will be prepared after the execution of the mutation1 and mutation2 fields

Via the mutation field

Add a prepare field in a mutation operation. This field will trigger the transaction preparation.

mutation prepare_tx @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id") {

Validate a transaction

Add a validate field in a mutation operation. This field will trigger the transaction validation.

mutation validate_tx @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id") {

Commit a transaction

Add a commit field in a mutation operation. This field will trigger the transaction commit.

mutation commit_tx @twoPhaseCommit(id:"the_transaction_id") {

Abort/Rollback a transaction

When you need to abort/rollback a transaction explicitly, you can use the abort or rollback mutation fields interchangeably (both have the same effect and usage). Note that you cannot mix it with any other operations, so you must specify it alone.

mutation AbortTx @twoPhaseCommit(id: "the_transaction_id") {


mutation RollbackTx @twoPhaseCommit(id: "the_transaction_id") {

Error handling

If an exception is thrown by a @twoPhaseCommit operation, ScalarDB GraphQL triggers a rollback procedure that recovers the transaction. For more details about the exception handling in two-phase commit transaction, please refer to the exception handling guide for ScalarDB two-phase commit transaction.