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IsolationLevel Enumeration

Specifies the transaction locking behavior for the connection.

Namespace:  System.Data
Assembly:  System.Data (in System.Data.dll)

public enum IsolationLevel

Member nameDescription
Supported by the XNA FrameworkChaosThe pending changes from more highly isolated transactions cannot be overwritten.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkReadCommittedShared locks are held while the data is being read to avoid dirty reads, but the data can be changed before the end of the transaction, resulting in non-repeatable reads or phantom data.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkReadUncommittedA dirty read is possible, meaning that no shared locks are issued and no exclusive locks are honored.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkRepeatableReadLocks are placed on all data that is used in a query, preventing other users from updating the data. Prevents non-repeatable reads but phantom rows are still possible.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkSerializableA range lock is placed on the DataSet, preventing other users from updating or inserting rows into the dataset until the transaction is complete.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkSnapshotReduces blocking by storing a version of data that one application can read while another is modifying the same data. Indicates that from one transaction you cannot see changes made in other transactions, even if you requery.
Supported by the XNA FrameworkUnspecifiedA different isolation level than the one specified is being used, but the level cannot be determined.

When using OdbcTransaction, if you do not set IsolationLevel or you set IsolationLevel to Unspecified, the transaction executes according to the isolation level that is determined by the driver that is being used.

The IsolationLevel values are used by a .NET Framework data provider when performing a transaction.

The IsolationLevel remains in effect until explicitly changed, but it can be changed at any time. The new value is used at execution time, not parse time. If changed during a transaction, the expected behavior of the server is to apply the new locking level to all statements remaining.

This application demonstrates how to use IsolationLevel in DbTransaction. The sample will demonstrate which of the following behaviors are allowed in the different isolation levels:

  • Dirty reads.

  • Non-repeatable reads.

  • Phantoms.

This application will execute in the following isolation levels:

  • ReadUncommitted

  • ReadCommitted

  • RepeatableRead

  • Serializable

  • Snapshot

The PhantomReadThreads class demonstrates if the specific transaction allows the Phantom Read behavior. If the transaction allows the behavior, the threads will operate in the following order:

  • In first thread, select the products(All).

  • In the second thread, insert a new product.

  • Commit the transaction in second thread.

  • Select the products again.

  • Commit the transaction in first thread.

If the transaction allows the behavior, the two Select operations will get the different results.

The NonrepeatableReadThreads class demonstrates if the specific transaction allows the Nonrepeatable Read behavior. If the transaction allows the behavior, the threads will operate in the following order:

  • In first thread, select the product(ProductId=1).

  • In the second thread, update the Quantity value(ProductId=1).

  • Commit the transaction in second thread.

  • Select the product again.

  • Commit the transaction in first thread.

If the transaction allows the behavior, the two Select operations will get the different results.

The ExchangeValuesThreads class demonstrates the difference between the Serializable and Snapshot transaction. For the the Serializable transaction, threads will operate in the following order:

  • In first thread, get the Price of product(ProductId=2) and store in the variable.

  • In first thread, update the Price of product(ProductId=1) with the price of product(ProductId=2).

  • Commit the transaction in first thread.

  • In second thread, get the Price of product(ProductId=1) and store in the variable.

  • In second thread, update the Price of product(ProductId=2) with the price of product(ProductId=1).

  • Commit the transaction in second thread.

Now the values of the Price(ProductId=1 and ProductId=2) are as same as the original Price of Product(ProductId=2).

For the Snapshot transaction, threads will operate in the following order:

  • In first thread, get the Price of product(ProductId=2) and store in the variable;

  • In first thread, update the Price of product(ProductId=1) with the price of product(ProductId=2).

  • In second thread, get the Price of product(ProductId=1) from the snapshot and store in the variable.

  • In second thread, update the Price of product(ProductId=2) with the price of product(ProductId=1).

  • Commit the transaction in second thread.

  • Commit the transaction in first thread.

Now exchange the Price of products(ProductId=1 and ProductId=2).

The DirtyReadThreads class demonstrates if the specific transaction allows the Dirty Read behavior. If the transaction allows the behavior, the threads will operate in the following order:

  • In first thread, begin a transaction and add the Quantity value(ProductId=1).

  • In the second thread, read the Quantity value and add the value again.

  • Commit the transaction in second thread.

  • Roll back the transaction in first thread.

If the transaction allows the behavior, the Quantity value will be added twice.

C# and Visual Basic projects with this code sample can be found on Developer Code Samples.

using System;
using System.Data.SqlClient;
using System.Data;
using System.Threading;
using System.Threading.Tasks;

namespace CSDataIsolationLevel {

   // Use the delegate to call the different threads. 
   public delegate void AsyncAccessDatabase(String connString, IsolationLevel level);

   static class DirtyReadThreads {
      public static void DirtyReadFirstThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the DirtyReadFirstThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel; 

                    Update dbo.Products set Quantity=Quantity+100 where ProductId=1;
                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:06';";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "DirtyReadFirst")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;
                  command.ExecuteNonQuery();
               }

               if (tran != null)
                  tran.Rollback();
            }
         }

         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the DirtyReadFirstThread.....");
      }

      public static void DirtyReadSecondThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the DirtyReadSecondThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel;

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:03'; 

                    Declare @qty int;
                    select @qty=Quantity from dbo.Products where ProductId=1;

                    Update dbo.Products set Quantity=@qty+100 where ProductId=1;";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "DirtyReadSecond")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;
                  command.ExecuteNonQuery();
               }
               tran.Commit();
            }
         }

         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the DirtyReadSecondThread.....");
      }
   }


   static class NonrepeatableReadThreads {
      public static void NonrepeatableReadFirstThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the NonrepeatableReadFirstThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel; 

                    Select ProductId,ProductName,Quantity,Price
                    from dbo.Products
                    where ProductId=1

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:06';

                    Select ProductId,ProductName,Quantity,Price
                    from dbo.Products
                    where ProductId=1";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "NonrepeatableReadFirst")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;

                  using (SqlDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader()) {
                     Boolean isFirstReader = true;
                     do {
                        Console.WriteLine("It's the result of {0} read:", isFirstReader ? "first" : "second");
                        TransactionIsolationLevels.DisplayData(reader);
                        isFirstReader = !isFirstReader;
                     } while (reader.NextResult() && !isFirstReader);
                  }
               }

               tran.Commit();
            }
         }

         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the NonrepeatableReadFirstThread.....");
      }

      public static void NonrepeatableReadSecondThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the NonrepeatableReadSecondThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel;

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:03'; 

                    Update dbo.Products set Quantity=Quantity+100 where ProductId=1;";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "NonrepeatableReadSecond")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;
                  command.ExecuteNonQuery();
               }
               tran.Commit();
            }
         }

         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the NonrepeatableReadSecondThread.....");
      }
   }


   static class PhantomReadThreads {
      public static void PhantomReadFirstThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the PhantomReadFirstThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel; 

                    Select ProductId,ProductName,Quantity,Price
                    from dbo.Products

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:06';

                    Select ProductId,ProductName,Quantity,Price
                    from dbo.Products";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "PhantomReadFirst")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;

                  using (SqlDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader()) {
                     Boolean isFirstReader = true;
                     do {
                        Console.WriteLine("It's the result of {0} read:", isFirstReader ? "first" : "second");

                        TransactionIsolationLevels.DisplayData(reader);

                        isFirstReader = !isFirstReader;
                     } while (reader.NextResult() && !isFirstReader);
                  }
               }

               tran.Commit();
            }
         }
         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the PhantomReadFirstThread.....");
      }

      public static void PhantomReadSecondThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
         Console.WriteLine("Begin the PhantomReadSecondThread.....");

         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel;

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:03'; 

                    INSERT [dbo].[Products] ([ProductName], [Quantity], [Price]) 
                    VALUES (N'White Bike', 843, 1349.00)";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "PhantomReadSecond")) {
               using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                  command.Transaction = tran;
                  command.ExecuteNonQuery();
               }
               tran.Commit();
            }
         }

         Console.WriteLine("Exit from the PhantomReadSecondThread.....");
      }
   }


   // Demonstrates if the specific transaction allows the following behaviors: 
   // 1. Dirty reads; 
   // 2. Non-repeatable reads; 
   // 3. Phantoms. 
   static class TransactionIsolationLevels {
      public static void DemonstrateIsolationLevel(String connString, IsolationLevel level) {
         // Before connect the database, recreate the table.
         OperateDatabase.CreateTable(connString);
         DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString, level, DirtyReadThreads.DirtyReadFirstThread, DirtyReadThreads.DirtyReadSecondThread);
         DisplayData(connString);
         Console.WriteLine();

         OperateDatabase.CreateTable(connString);
         DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString, level, NonrepeatableReadThreads.NonrepeatableReadFirstThread, NonrepeatableReadThreads.NonrepeatableReadSecondThread);
         Console.WriteLine();

         OperateDatabase.CreateTable(connString);
         DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString, level, PhantomReadThreads.PhantomReadFirstThread, PhantomReadThreads.PhantomReadSecondThread);
         Console.WriteLine();
      }

      // Demonstrates if the specific transaction allows the specific behaviors. 
      public static void DemonstrateIsolationLevel(String connString, IsolationLevel level,
          AsyncAccessDatabase firstThread, AsyncAccessDatabase secondThread) {
         Task[] tasks ={
                            Task.Factory.StartNew(()=>firstThread(connString, level)),
                            Task.Factory.StartNew(()=>secondThread(connString, level))
                        };

         Task.WaitAll(tasks);
      }

      static class ExchangeValuesThreads {
         public static void ExchangeValuesFirstThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
            Console.WriteLine("Begin the ExchangeValuesFirstThread.....");

            using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
               String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel;

                    Declare @price money;
                    select @price=Price from dbo.Products where ProductId=2;

                    Update dbo.Products set Price=@price where ProductId=1;

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:06'; ";

               conn.Open();
               using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "ExchangeValuesFirst")) {

                  using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                     command.Transaction = tran;
                     command.ExecuteNonQuery();
                  }

                  tran.Commit();
               }
            }

            Console.WriteLine("Exit from the ExchangeValuesFirstThread.....");
         }

         public static void ExchangeValuesSecondThread(String connStrig, IsolationLevel level) {
            Console.WriteLine("Begin the ExchangeValuesSecondThread.....");

            using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connStrig)) {
               String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel;

                    WaitFor Delay '00:00:03'; 

                    Declare @price money;
                    select @price=Price from dbo.Products where ProductId=1;

                    Update dbo.Products set Price=@price where ProductId=2;";

               conn.Open();

               using (SqlTransaction tran = conn.BeginTransaction(level, "ExchangeValuesSecond")) {
                  using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
                     command.Transaction = tran;
                     command.ExecuteNonQuery();
                  }
                  tran.Commit();
               }
            }

            Console.WriteLine("Exit from the ExchangeValuesSecondThread.....");
         }
      }

      // Demonstrates the difference between the Serializable and Snapshot transaction 
      public static void DemonstrateBetweenSnapshotAndSerializable(String connString) {
         OperateDatabase.CreateTable(connString);

         Console.WriteLine("Exchange Vaules in the Snapshot transaction:");
         DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString, IsolationLevel.Snapshot,
             ExchangeValuesThreads.ExchangeValuesFirstThread,
             ExchangeValuesThreads.ExchangeValuesSecondThread);
         DisplayData(connString);
         Console.WriteLine();

         Console.WriteLine("Cannot Exchange Vaules in the Serializable transaction:");
         OperateDatabase.CreateTable(connString);
         DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString, IsolationLevel.Serializable,
             ExchangeValuesThreads.ExchangeValuesFirstThread,
             ExchangeValuesThreads.ExchangeValuesSecondThread);
         DisplayData(connString);
      }

      public static void DisplayData(String connString) {
         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel; 

                    Select ProductId,ProductName,Quantity,Price
                    from dbo.Products";

            conn.Open();

            using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
               using (SqlDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader()) {
                  DisplayData(reader);
               }
            }
         }
      }

      public static void DisplayData(SqlDataReader reader) {
         Boolean isFirst = true;

         while (reader.Read()) {
            if (isFirst) {
               isFirst = false;

               for (int i = 0; i < reader.FieldCount; i++)
                  Console.Write("{0,-12}   ", reader.GetName(i));
               Console.WriteLine();
            }

            for (int i = 0; i < reader.FieldCount; i++)
               Console.Write("{0,-12}   ", reader[i]);
            Console.WriteLine();
         }
      }
   }

   // This class includes database operations. If there's no database 'DbDataIsolationLevel', create the database. 
   static class OperateDatabase {
      public static Boolean CreateDatabase(String connString) {
         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use Master;

                                     if Db_Id('DbDataIsolationLevel') is null
                                      create Database [DbDataIsolationLevel];";

            using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
               conn.Open();
               command.ExecuteNonQuery();
            }

            Console.WriteLine("Create the Database 'DbDataIsolationLevel'");
         }

         return true;
      }


      // If there's no table [dbo].[Products] in DbDataIsolationLevel, create the table; or recreate it. 
      public static Boolean CreateTable(String connString) {
         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel

                                    if Object_ID('[dbo].[Products]') is not null
                                    drop table [dbo].[Products]

                                    Create Table [dbo].[Products]
                                    (
                                    [ProductId] int IDENTITY(1,1) primary key,
                                    [ProductName] NVarchar(100) not null,
                                    [Quantity] int null,
                                    [Price] money null
                                    )";

            using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
               conn.Open();
               command.ExecuteNonQuery();
            }
         }

         return InsertRows(connString);
      }

      // Insert some rows into [dbo].[Products] table. 
      public static Boolean InsertRows(String connString) {
         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString)) {
            String cmdText = @"Use DbDataIsolationLevel

                    INSERT [dbo].[Products] ([ProductName], [Quantity], [Price]) VALUES (N'Blue Bike', 365,1075.00)
                    INSERT [dbo].[Products] ([ProductName], [Quantity], [Price]) VALUES (N'Red Bike', 159, 1299.00)
                    INSERT [dbo].[Products] ([ProductName], [Quantity], [Price]) VALUES (N'Black Bike', 638, 1159.00)";

            using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
               conn.Open();
               command.ExecuteNonQuery();
            }
         }
         return true;
      }

      // Turn on or off 'ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION' 
      public static Boolean SetSnapshot(String connString, Boolean isOpen) {
         using (SqlConnection conn = new SqlConnection(connString)) {
            String cmdText = null;

            if (isOpen)
               cmdText = @"ALTER DATABASE DbDataIsolationLevel SET ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION ON";
            else
               cmdText = @"ALTER DATABASE DbDataIsolationLevel SET ALLOW_SNAPSHOT_ISOLATION OFF";

            using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand(cmdText, conn)) {
               conn.Open();
               command.ExecuteNonQuery();
            }
         }

         return true;
      }
   }
   class Program {
      static void Main(string[] args) {
         String connString = "Data Source=(local);Initial Catalog=master;Integrated Security=True;Asynchronous Processing=true;";

         OperateDatabase.CreateDatabase(connString);
         Console.WriteLine();

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the ReadUncommitted transaction: ");
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString,
             System.Data.IsolationLevel.ReadUncommitted);
         Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------");

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the ReadCommitted transaction: ");
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString,
             System.Data.IsolationLevel.ReadCommitted);
         Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------");

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the RepeatableRead transaction: ");
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString,
             System.Data.IsolationLevel.RepeatableRead);
         Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------");

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the Serializable transaction: ");
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString,
             System.Data.IsolationLevel.Serializable);
         Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------");

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the Snapshot transaction: ");
         OperateDatabase.SetSnapshot(connString, true);
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateIsolationLevel(connString,
             System.Data.IsolationLevel.Snapshot);
         Console.WriteLine("-----------------------------------------------");

         Console.WriteLine("Demonstrate the difference between the Snapshot and Serializable transactions:");
         TransactionIsolationLevels.DemonstrateBetweenSnapshotAndSerializable(connString);
         OperateDatabase.SetSnapshot(connString, false);
         Console.WriteLine();
      }
   }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.2, 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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