Two‐Phase Commit in Python's DB‐API
Marc uploaded a new revision of the Python DB-API 2.0 Specification yesterday that documents the new two phase commit extension that I helped develop on the db-sig mailing list.
My interest in this started from the desire to support two phase commit in Storm – without that feature there are far fewer occasions where its ability to talk to multiple databases can be put to use. As I was doing some work on psycopg2 for Launchpad, I initially put together a PostgreSQL specific patch, which was (rightly) rejected by Federico.
He suggested that it would be better to try and standardise on an API on the db-sig list, so that's what I did. I looked over the API exposed by other database adapters that supported 2PC, and the 2PC APIs of the major free databases that did not have support in their Python adapters (MySQL and PostgreSQL). The resulting API is a bit more complicated than my original PostgreSQL-only but has the advantage of being implementable on other databases such as MySQL.
Below is a simple example of using the API directly (missing some of the error handling):
# begin transactions for each database connection conn1.tpc_begin(conn1.xid(42, 'transaction ID', 'connection 1')) conn2.tpc_begin(conn2.xid(42, 'transaction ID', 'connection 2')) # Do stuff with both connections ... try: conn1.tpc_prepare() conn2.tpc_prepare() except DatabaseError: conn1.tpc_rollback() conn2.tpc_rollback() else: conn1.tpc_commit() conn2.tpc_commit()
Or alternatively, if you've got one connection supporting 2PC and the other only supporting one-phase commit, it could be structured as follows:
# begin transactions for each database connection conn1.tpc_begin(conn1.xid(42, 'transaction ID', 'connection 1')) # Do stuff with both connections ... try: conn1.tpc_prepare() conn2.commit() except DatabaseError: conn1.tpc_rollback() conn2.rollback() else: conn1.tpc_commit()
While it is possible to use the 2PC API directly, it is expected that most applications will rely on a transaction manager to coordinate global transactions, such as Zope's transaction module.
The hope is that by offering a consistent API, Python application frameworks will be more likely to bother supporting this feature of databases. Hopefully you'll be able to use the API with PostgreSQL and Storm soon.