A feature of transaction processing systems that enables databases to be returned to the pre-transaction state if some error condition occurs. A single transaction can update many different databases. The two-phase commit strategy is designed to ensure that either all the databases are updated or none of them, so that the databases remain synchronized.
Database changes required by a transaction are initially stored temporarily by each database. The transaction monitor then issues a "pre-commit" command to each database which requires an acknowledgment. If the monitor receives the appropriate response from each database, the monitor issues the "commit" command, which causes all databases to simultaneously make the transaction changes permanent.
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