System Versioning 3 - Inter-Transaction Changes Are Not Recorded

1 minute read

In this post we will take another look at how transactions impact system versioned tables. There is exception to the rule that a system versioned table will record all changes to records: within a transaction.

Below we have some sample code that creates two records. Within the same transaction, one record is updated an the other is deleted.

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CREATE TABLE [ExampleTable]  
(   
      [ID] [int] IDENTITY(1,1) NOT NULL PRIMARY KEY  
    , [SysStartTime] [datetime2](7) GENERATED ALWAYS AS ROW START NOT NULL   
    , [SysEndTime] [datetime2](7) GENERATED ALWAYS AS ROW END NOT NULL   
    , [Comment] [varchar](50) NOT NULL
    , PERIOD FOR SYSTEM_TIME ([SysStartTime], [SysEndTime])   
)    
WITH ( SYSTEM_VERSIONING = ON (HISTORY_TABLE = [dbo].[ExampleTableHistory],
                               DATA_CONSISTENCY_CHECK = ON ));   
GO   

BEGIN TRAN
    INSERT INTO [ExampleTable]  (Comment)
    VALUES ('CreateThenUpdate')
         , ('CreateThenDelete');  

    Update [ExampleTable] Set Comment = 'Updated' Where Comment = 'CreateThenUpdate'
    Delete From [ExampleTable] Where Comment = 'CreateThenDelete'

COMMIT TRAN

Select * From [ExampleTable] For System_Time All

ALTER TABLE [dbo].[ExampleTable] Set (SYSTEM_VERSIONING = OFF); 
Drop table [dbo].[ExampleTable]
Drop table [dbo].[ExampleTableHistory]

The output shows that only the final state of the transaction was recorded. We see the ‘updated’ value as if it was the value that was inserted. The deleted never really existed.

Just for contrast, the results below are what we would get if the transaction was not used.

One way to think about what is happening here is this. SQL Server will only ever move a row to the history table on update or delete, if that row existed before the transaction began. Additionally, it will only create one new version of a row within a transaction.

Updated: