July 14, 2011

On-Line Transaction Processing

Filed under: — Martin Sullivan @ 8:17 am

Some of these entries found in this web-site are to do with ‘On-line Transaction Processing’, or OLTP as the acronym would have it. OLTP? What, I hear you ask, is OLTP?

Years ago I prepared a little ‘Executive Summary‘ that I could e-mail to folk who asked this very question. It, together with some pages on the prominent products in this field, were the basis for the first versions of the ZOIS web-site, way back in the last century.

OLTP concerns itself with Transactions. Transactions are bracketed, atomic, units of work which once committed allow a server or client to be in a known stable state. The programmer is thus freed from having to deal with exceptional events when coordinating a number of heterogeneous databases. The knack is to do it in a distributed fashion using a standardised interface and communications medium, in the face of real-world unreliability. Finally OLTP must allow the heavy use of discrete components in a scalable fashion.

The specialised software that allows all this to happen is generally known as a Transaction Processing Monitor, of which there are a number. ZOIS specialised in such software running on Open Systems, UNIX and derived operating systems.

There’s more on the main ZOIS web-site.

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