Strange Loop

Sept 30 - Oct 2, 2021


Union Station


St. Louis, MO

Register for 2021!

Transactions: myths, surprises and opportunities

Back in the 1970s, the earliest databases had transactions. Then NoSQL abolished them. And now, perhaps, they are making a comeback... but reinvented.

The purpose of transactions is to make application code simpler, by reducing the amount of failure handling you need to do yourself. However, they have also gained a reputation for being slow and unscalable. With the traditional implementation of serializability (2-phase locking), that reputation was somewhat deserved.

In the last few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in transaction algorithms that perform well and scale well. This talk answers some of the biggest questions about the bright new landscape of transactions:

Martin Kleppmann

Martin Kleppmann

Martin Kleppmann is a software engineer and entrepreneur, and author of the O'Reilly book Designing Data-Intensive Applications (, which analyses the data infrastructure and architecture used by internet companies. He previously co-founded a startup, Rapportive, which was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. He is a committer on Apache Samza, and his technical blog is at