Sunday, March 18, 2007

Transactionless eBay

Martin Fowler spills the beans regarding eBay's lack of use of transactions across its various databases. I first heard about this in 2004 at The Serverside Symposium. John Crupi was giving a pretty forgetful talk on something he called Software Radiology. Along the way he managed to slip in an anecdote about how eBay doesn't use transactions--and instead makes something of a best effort.

From time-to-time I have had a chance to cite this story--typically when arguing against too much complexity in enterprise systems. Sometimes the efforts to enforce integrity aren't worth the expense.

I didn't know the fact that eBay doesn't use transactions was a secret all these years. :)

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