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Oracle Database Locking Mechanism – 3

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Oracle Database automatically locks a resource on behalf of a transaction to prevent other transactions from doing something that requires exclusive access to the same resource.

The database automatically acquires different types of locks at different levels of Restrictiveness depending on the resource and the operation being performed.
DML LocksProtect data. For example, table locks
lock entire tables, while row locks lock
selected rows.
DDL LocksProtect the structure of schema objects—
for example, the dictionary definitions of
tables and views
System LocksProtect internal database structures such
as data files. Latches, mutexes, and
internal locks are entirely automatic.
Lock Categories
1. DML Locks

A DML lock, also called a data lock, guarantees the integrity of data accessed concurrently by multiple users.

For example, a DML lock prevents two customers from buying the last copy of a book available from an online bookseller. DML locks prevent destructive interference of simultaneous conflicting DML or DDL operations.

DML statements automatically acquire the following types of locks:

• Row Locks (TX)
• Table Locks (TM)
Row Locks (TX)

A row lock, also called a TX lock, is a lock on a single row of table. 

A transaction acquires a row lock for each row modified by an INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, MERGE, or SELECT ... FOR UPDATE statement. The row lock exists until the transaction commits or rolls back.

Row locks primarily serve as a queuing mechanism to prevent two transactions from modifying the same row. The database always locks a modified row in exclusive mode so that other transactions cannot modify the row until the transaction holding the lock commits or rolls back. Row locking provides the finest grain locking possible and so provides the best possible concurrency and throughput.

If a transaction obtains a lock for a row, then the transaction also acquires a lock for the table containing the row. The table lock prevents conflicting DDL operations that would override data changes in a current transaction. 
Table Locks (TM)

A table lock, also called a TM lock, is acquired by a transaction when a table is modified by an INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, MERGE, SELECT with the FOR UPDATE clause, or LOCK TABLE statement.

DML operations require table locks to reserve DML access to the table on behalf of a transaction and to prevent DDL operations that would conflict with the transaction.

A table lock can be held in any of the following modes:Row Share (RS)

This lock, also called a subshare table lock (SS), indicates that the transaction holding the lock on the table has locked rows in the table and intends to update them. A row share lock is the least restrictive mode of table lock, offering the highest degree of concurrency for a table.

• Row Exclusive Table Lock (RX)

This lock, also called a subexclusive table lock (SX), generally indicates that the transaction holding the lock has updated table rows or issued SELECT ... FOR UPDATE. 

An SX lock allows other transactions to query, insert, update, delete, or lock rows concurrently in the same table. Therefore, SX locks allow multiple transactions to obtain simultaneous SX and subshare table locks for the same table.

• Share Table Lock (S)

A share table lock held by a transaction allows other transactions to query the table (without using SELECT ... FOR UPDATE), but updates are allowed only if a single transaction holds the share table lock. Because multiple transactions may hold a share table lock concurrently, holding this lock is not sufficient to ensure that a transaction can modify the table.
2. DDL Locks

A data dictionary (DDL) lock protects the definition of a schema object while an ongoing DDL operation acts on or refers to the object.

Only individual schema objects that are modified or referenced are locked during DDL operations. The database never locks the whole data dictionary. 

Oracle Database acquires a DDL lock automatically on behalf of any DDL transaction requiring it. Users cannot explicitly request DDL locks. 

For example, if a user creates a stored procedure, then Oracle Database automatically acquires DDL locks for all schema objects referenced in the procedure definition. The DDL locks prevent these objects from being altered or dropped before procedure compilation is complete.
3. System Locks

Oracle Database uses various types of system locks to protect internal database and memory structures. These mechanisms are inaccessible to users because users have no control over their occurrence or duration.


A latch is a simple, low-level serialization mechanism that coordinates multiuser access to shared data structures, objects, and files.

Latches protect shared memory resources from corruption when accessed by multiple processes. Specifically, latches protect data structures from the following situations:

• Concurrent modification by multiple sessions
• Being read by one session while being modified by another session
• Deallocation (aging out) of memory while being accessed

For more info on latching : https://asrblogger.com/latching/