Demystifying the ACID Properties in Databases

Mohd Mujtaba
3 min readOct 28, 2023

Introduction to ACID Properties
In the world of databases, there are four important principles known as ACID properties. These principles are crucial for ensuring that database transactions are reliable and maintain data integrity. Whether you’re a database enthusiast or just starting out, it’s important to understand ACID properties to work effectively with data.

1. Atomicity: The “A” in ACID

In simple terms, atomicity means that a database transaction is an all-or-nothing deal. It’s like when you buy something online, and the order is either processed completely, or it’s not processed at all. There’s no in-between. If something goes wrong during the transaction, the entire thing is canceled to keep everything in order.


2. Consistency: The “C” in ACID

Consistency ensures that a database transaction brings the database from one logical state to another. Imagine you have a rule that says “all ages must be positive integers.” If a transaction tries to break this rule by making someone’s age negative, the whole thing is canceled to keep the data consistent.


3. Isolation: The “I” in ACID

Isolation is all about keeping transactions separate from each other, especially when they’re happening at the same time. It’s like when two people withdraw money from an ATM at the same time. Isolation ensures that one person’s transaction doesn’t interfere with the other’s. They both get what they wanted without a hitch.


4. Durability: The “D” in ACID

Durability is all about making sure that once a transaction is completed and confirmed, it’s like writing something in permanent ink. Even if the computer crashes or the power goes out, the information won’t disappear. It’s stored safely, usually on a hard drive.


ACID in Action: Real-world Applications:
ACID properties are super important in real life. Think about a bank. When you transfer money from your account to someone else’s, the bank uses ACID principles to make sure everything goes smoothly. If something goes wrong, like the power cuts out, your money is still safe.

When to Use ACID

ACID properties are great when you absolutely need to make sure that everything happens correctly. You’d use them in things like banks, hospitals, and important business systems. For example, in an online store, ACID properties help make sure that when you place an order and pay, everything gets recorded properly, even if something goes wrong.


The ACID properties — Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability — help keep everything in order when working with databases. They make sure data is accurate and reliable, especially in places where it’s really important. By following these principles, developers can build strong and dependable systems.

In the next parts of this series, we’ll explore each ACID property in more detail and provide more examples to help you understand them better.

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Mohd Mujtaba

SDE-2 @ | Built systems from scratch | Exploring new Technology