Online Transaction Processing (OLTP)- Definition, Pros, and Cons

Posted by Mohit Kumar

Online Transaction Processing

Online Transaction Processing is a class of software programs capable of supporting transaction-oriented applications on the internet.
OLTP systems are used for order entry, financial transactions, customer relationship management.
Such systems have large number of users who conduct short transactions.
An important attribute of an OLTP system is its ability to maintain concurrency.
The term is somewhat ambiguous; some understand a “transaction” in the context of computer or database transaction. While others define it in terms of business or Commercial transactions.
 
For example :- ATM (Automated Teller Machine).
These applications are used concurrently by hundred of users.
OLTP involves gathering input information, processing the information and updating existing information to reflect the gathered and processed information.
Organizations use database management systems to support OLTP. OLTP is carried in a client server system.
Online transaction process concerns about concurrency control  and atomicity.
v  Concurrency controls guarantee that two users accessing the same data in the database system will not be able to change that data or the user has to wait until the other user has finished processing, before changing that piece of data.
Atomicity controls guaranteed that all the steps in transaction are completed successfully  as a group. That is, if any steps between the transaction fail, all other steps must fail also.

OLTP System Design:-

To build an OLTP system, a designer must know that the large number of concurrent users does not interfere with the system performance.
The following elements are essential for the system performance:-
  1. Rollback Segments.
  1. Clusters.
  1. Buffer Cache Size.
4.   Dynamic Allocation
5.    Transaction Processing.
6.    Database Tuning.

Goals of OLTP :-

The key goals of OLTP applications are :-
1)      Availability
2)      Speed
3)      Concurrency
4)      Recoverability
5)      Atomicity

Advantages are as follows:-

1)      Easy and best solution for online shoppers.
2)       These systems are most efficient and have excellent response times.
3)       Very easy to use, as simple as fill a form and the rest will be taken care of by the web and database servers.
4)       Online banking is completely based on online transaction processing systems.
5)       Credit cards are also well-handled by these systems.
6)       You can access anything on the web and choose to buy it because all financial transactions methods are supported by these systems.

Disadvantages of OLTP:-

1)  At times, there occur millions and millions of requests at a time which gets difficult to handle.
2) During purchases even if the servers hang for few seconds a   large number of transactions get affected, in turn affecting the organizations’ reputation.
3) Databases store all user data and account information, if these servers are hacked, it could lead to financial and personal problems.
4) In the case of hardware failures of the online transaction processing systems visitors of the website get in  trouble and their online transactions get affected.
5) Electricity problems is another issue, i.e., if there is a shortage in electric supply additional backup facilities like generators and related hardware, is a must.

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