Transaction management in JPA/Spring

Propagation is used to defines how transactions relate to each other. Common options

  • Required: Code will always run in a transaction. Create a new transaction or reuse one if available.
  • Requires_new: Code will always run in a new transaction. Suspend current transaction if one exists.


Isolation Defines the data contract between transactions.

  1. Read Uncommitted: Allows dirty reads
  2. Read Committed: Does not allow dirty reads
  3. Repeatable Read: If a row is read twice in the same transaction, result will always be the same
  4. Serializable: Performs all transactions in a sequence


An isolation level is about how much a transaction may be impacted by the activities of other concurrent transactions.It a supports consistency leaving the data across many tables in a consistent state. It involves locking rows and/or tables in a database.

The problem with multiple transactions
  • Scenario 1.If the T1 transaction reads data from table A1 that was written by another concurrent transaction T2.If on the way T2 is a rollback, the data obtained by T1 is invalid one.E.g a=2 is original data.If T1 read a=1 that was written by T2.If T2 rollback then a=1 will be a rollback to a=2 in DB.But, Now, T1 has a=1 but in DB table it is changed to a=2.
  • Scenario2.If a T1 transaction reads data from table A1.If another concurrent transaction(T2) update data on table A1.Then the data that T1 has read is different from table A1.Because T2 has updated the data in table A1.E.g if T1 read a=1 and T2 updated a=2.Then a!=b.
  • Scenario 3.If T1 transaction reads data from table A1 with a certain number of rows. If another concurrent transaction(T2) inserts more rows on table A1.The number of rows read by T1 is different from rows on table A1


Scenario 1 is called Dirty reads.
Scenario 2 is called Non-repeatable reads.
Scenario 3 is called Phantom reads.

So, isolation level is the extent to which Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3 can be prevented. You can obtain complete isolation level by implementing locking.That is preventing concurrent reads and writes to the same data from occurring.But it affects performance.The level of isolation depends upon application to application how much isolation is required.


  1. ISOLATION_READ_UNCOMMITTED: Allows to read changes that haven’t yet been committed.It suffers from Scenario 1, Scenario 2, Scenario 3
  2. ISOLATION_READ_COMMITTED: Allows reads from concurrent transactions that have been committed. It may suffer from Scenario 2 and Scenario 3. Because other transactions may be updating the data.
  3. ISOLATION_REPEATABLE_READ: Multiple reads of the same field will yield the same results until it is changed by itself.It may suffer from Scenario 3.Because other transactions may be inserting the data
  4. ISOLATION_SERIALIZABLE: Scenario 1,Scenario 2,Scenario 3 never happens.It is complete isolation.It involves full locking.It affects performance because of locking.