How to handle errors inside a PostgreSQL transaction using savepoint?

In PostgreSQL, errors inside a transaction can also be handled using savepoints. A savepoint is a point within a transaction that can be rolled back, without rolling back the entire transaction.

Here is an example of how to handle errors inside a PostgreSQL transaction using savepoints:

SAVEPOINT my_savepoint;
INSERT INTO my_table (column1, column2) VALUES (‘value1’, ‘value2’);
UPDATE my_table SET column1 = ‘new_value1’ WHERE id = 1;
— If an error occurs, roll back to the savepoint

In this example, a transaction is started using the BEGIN; statement. A savepoint is set using the SAVEPOINT statement. The transaction includes two statements: an INSERT statement and an UPDATE statement. If an error occurs during the execution of either statement, the ROLLBACK TO SAVEPOINT statement is triggered, rolling back to the savepoint.

The COMMIT statement is only executed if the transaction completes successfully. If an error occurs, the transaction is rolled back to the savepoint, undoing any changes that were made before the error occurred.

Using savepoints allows for a more granular approach to error handling, as errors can be handled on a statement-by-statement basis. This can be useful when dealing with complex transactions or when executing multiple statements within a single transaction.

It’s important to note that savepoints can also be nested, allowing for even more granular error handling. However, using nested savepoints can increase the complexity of the code and should be used with caution.

In summary, savepoints can be used to handle errors inside a PostgreSQL transaction. By using savepoints, users can roll back to a specific point within the transaction, allowing for a more granular approach to error handling.


Savepoints in PostgreSQL offer a granular approach to error handling within transactions. They allow you to roll back to specific points, preserving data integrity and simplifying troubleshooting. Utilizing savepoints can enhance PostgreSQL troubleshooting and streamline database management.

About Shiv Iyer 452 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.