PostgreSQL Row Lock and Row Level Locking

In PostgreSQL, row locks are used to control access to individual rows in a table, allowing multiple transactions to access the same table without interfering with each other. Row level locking is a mechanism that allows transactions to lock only the rows that they need to access, instead of locking the entire table.

Row level locking provides a number of benefits for performance and scalability, including:

  1. Concurrent Access: Row level locking allows multiple transactions to access the same table at the same time, increasing the concurrency of the system.
  2. Performance: Row level locking reduces the amount of lock contention, leading to better performance, especially in high-concurrency environments.
  3. Scalability: Row level locking allows the system to scale by enabling more transactions to access the same table without causing locking conflicts.

PostgreSQL implements row level locking using the Multiversion Concurrency Control (MVCC) model, which allows multiple versions of the same row to exist simultaneously, with each transaction accessing the version of the row that was current at the start of the transaction. This enables multiple transactions to access the same table without interfering with each other, improving the concurrency and scalability of the system.

To take advantage of row level locking in PostgreSQL, it is important to properly design the database schema and use appropriate transaction management techniques, such as using appropriate transaction isolation levels and avoiding long-running transactions.

About Shiv Iyer 455 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.