SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS (Transact-SQL)

 

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (starting with 2008)yesAzure SQL DatabaseyesAzure SQL Data Warehouse yesParallel Data Warehouse

Sets the BEGIN TRANSACTION mode to implicit, for the connection.

Topic link icon Transact-SQL Syntax Conventions

-- Syntax for SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Parallel Data Warehouse  
  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS { ON | OFF }  

When ON, the system is in implicit transaction mode. This means that if @@TRANCOUNT = 0, any of the following Transact-SQL statements begins a new transaction. It is equivalent to an unseen BEGIN TRANSACTION being executed first:

ALTER TABLEFETCHREVOKE
BEGIN TRANSACTIONGRANTSELECT (See exception below.)
CREATEINSERTTRUNCATE TABLE
DELETEOPENUPDATE
DROP..

When OFF, each of the preceding T-SQL statements is bounded by an unseen BEGIN TRANSACTION and an unseen COMMIT TRANSACTION statement. When OFF, we say the transaction mode is autocommit. If your T-SQL code visibly issues a BEGIN TRANSACTION, we say the transaction mode is explicit.

There are several clarifying point to understand:

  • When the transaction mode is implicit, no unseen BEGIN TRANSACTION is issued if @@trancount > 0 already. However, any explicit BEGIN TRANSACTION statements still increment @@TRANCOUNT.

  • When your INSERT statements and anything else in your unit of work is finished, you must issue COMMIT TRANSACTION statements until @@TRANCOUNT is decremented back down to 0. Or you can issue one ROLLBACK TRANSACTION.

  • SELECT statements that do not select from a table do not start implicit transactions. For example SELECT GETDATE(); or SELECT 1, 'ABC'; do not require transactions.

  • Implicit transactions may unexpectedly be ON due to ANSI defaults. For details see SET ANSI_DEFAULTS (Transact-SQL).

    IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON is not popular. In most cases where IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS is ON, it is because the choice of SET ANSI_DEFAULTS ON has been made.

  • The SQL Server Native Client OLE DB Provider for SQL Server, and the SQL Server Native Client ODBC driver, automatically set IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS to OFF when connecting. SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS defaults to OFF for connections with the SQLClient managed provider, and for SOAP requests received through HTTP endpoints.

To view the current setting for IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS, run the following query.

DECLARE @IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS VARCHAR(3) = 'OFF';  
IF ( (2 & @@OPTIONS) = 2 ) SET @IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS = 'ON';  
SELECT @IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS AS IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS;  

The following Transact-SQL script runs a few different test cases. The text output is also provided, which shows the detailed behavior and results from each test case.

-- Transact-SQL.  
go  
-- Preparations.  
SET NOCOUNT ON;  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS OFF;  
go  
WHILE (@@TranCount > 0) COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
go  
IF (OBJECT_ID(N'dbo.t1',N'U') IS NOT NULL) DROP TABLE dbo.t1;  
go  
CREATE table dbo.t1 (a int);  
go  
  
PRINT N'-------- [Test A] ---- OFF ----';  
PRINT N'[A.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS OFF.';  
PRINT N'[A.02] @@TranCount, at start, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS OFF;  
go  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (11);  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (12);  
PRINT N'[A.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
  
PRINT N' ';  
PRINT N'-------- [Test B] ---- ON ----';  
PRINT N'[B.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.';  
PRINT N'[B.02] @@TranCount, at start, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON;  
go  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (21);  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (22);  
PRINT N'[B.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
PRINT N'[B.04] @@TranCount, after COMMIT, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
  
PRINT N' ';  
PRINT N'-------- [Test C] ---- ON, then BEGIN TRAN ----';  
PRINT N'[C.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.';  
PRINT N'[C.02] @@TranCount, at start, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON;  
go  
BEGIN TRANSACTION;  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (31);  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (32);  
PRINT N'[C.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
PRINT N'[C.04] @@TranCount, after a COMMIT, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
PRINT N'[C.05] @@TranCount, after another COMMIT, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
  
PRINT N' ';  
PRINT N'-------- [Test D] ---- ON, INSERT, BEGIN TRAN, INSERT ----';  
PRINT N'[D.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.';  
PRINT N'[D.02] @@TranCount, at start, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON;  
go  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (41);  
BEGIN TRANSACTION;  
INSERT INTO dbo.t1 VALUES (42);  
PRINT N'[D.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
PRINT N'[D.04] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
PRINT N'[D.05] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == ' + CAST(@@TRANCOUNT AS NVARCHAR(10));  
go  
  
-- Clean up.  
SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS OFF;  
go  
WHILE (@@TranCount > 0) COMMIT TRANSACTION;  
go  
DROP TABLE dbo.t1;  
go  

Next is the text output from the preceding Transact-SQL script.

-- Text output from Transact-SQL:  
  
-------- [Test A] ---- OFF ----  
[A.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS OFF.  
[A.02] @@TranCount, at start, == 0  
[A.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 0  
  
-------- [Test B] ---- ON ----  
[B.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.  
[B.02] @@TranCount, at start, == 0  
[B.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 1  
[B.04] @@TranCount, after COMMIT, == 0  
  
-------- [Test C] ---- ON, then BEGIN TRAN ----  
[C.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.  
[C.02] @@TranCount, at start, == 0  
[C.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 2  
[C.04] @@TranCount, after a COMMIT, == 1  
[C.05] @@TranCount, after another COMMIT, == 0  
  
-------- [Test D] ---- ON, INSERT, BEGIN TRAN, INSERT ----  
[D.01] Now, SET IMPLICIT_TRANSACTIONS ON.  
[D.02] @@TranCount, at start, == 0  
[D.03] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 2  
[D.04] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 1  
[D.05] @@TranCount, after INSERTs, == 0  

Here is the result set.

ALTER TABLE (Transact-SQL)
BEGIN TRANSACTION (Transact-SQL)
CREATE TABLE (Transact-SQL)
DELETE (Transact-SQL)
DROP TABLE (Transact-SQL)
FETCH (Transact-SQL)
GRANT (Transact-SQL)
INSERT (Transact-SQL)
OPEN (Transact-SQL)
REVOKE (Transact-SQL)
SELECT (Transact-SQL)
SET Statements (Transact-SQL)
SET ANSI_DEFAULTS (Transact-SQL)
@@TRANCOUNT (Transact-SQL)
TRUNCATE TABLE (Transact-SQL)
UPDATE (Transact-SQL)

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