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Don Burleson Blog 







Autonomous Transaction Tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJune 29, 2015

Question:  I am getting an "ORA-14552: cannot perform a DDL, commit or rollback inside a query or DML"  error and I want to make my function into an autonomous transaction with the "pragma autonomous transaction" syntax:

create or replace function
   return number
   l_csmsgid1 pls_integer;

      pragma autonomous_transaction;

   begin . . .

I got the rid of the ORA-14552 error by making it an autonomous transaction, but I don't understand what an autonomous transaction is and why this must be an autonomous transaction.

Can you please explain the "pragma autonomous transaction," when to use an autonomous transaction and why an autonomous transaction stops the ORA-14552 error?

Answer: An autonomous transaction is code which is independent of the transaction that spawned it, allowing the parent transaction to continue regardless of the success or failure of the autonomous transaction.

Autonomous transactions are useful for tasks that you want to execute regardless of the status of the parent transaction.  Consider an error log table, where you want to save error messages generated by a transaction.  You will need to roll back the transaction which caused the error, but you don't want the error code to be lost in the rollback.  When the error is logged and committed in an autonomous transaction and the parent transaction is rolled back, the changes committed by the autonomous transaction are preserved.

Moving your code to the autonomous transaction removes the ORA-14552 error because you are creating a whole new transaction.  When a procedure defined with the pragma autonomous transaction compiler directive is called, the calling transaction suspends untilt he autonomous transaction is completed. 

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