Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A two-phase commit is a standardized protocol that ensures that a database commit is implementing in the situation where a commit operation must be broken into two separate parts.
In database management, saving data changes is known as a commit and undoing changes is known as a rollback. Both can be achieved easily using transaction logging when a single server is involved, but when the data is spread across geographically-diverse servers in distributed computing (i.e., each server being an independent entity with separate log records), the process can become more tricky.
A special object, known as a coordinator, is required in a distributed transaction. As its name implies, the coordinator arranges activities and synchronization between distributed servers. The two-phase commit is implemented as follows:
Phase 1 - Each server that needs to commit data writes its data records to the log. If a server is unsuccessful, it responds with a failure message. If successful, the server replies with an OK message.
Phase 2 - This phase begins after all participants respond OK. Then, the coordinator sends a signal to each server with commit instructions. After committing, each writes the commit as part of its log record for reference and sends the coordinator a message that its commit has been successfully implemented. If a server fails, the coordinator sends instructions to all servers to roll back the transaction. After the servers roll back, each sends feedback that this has been completed.