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Stream Transactions

Stream Transactions allow you start a transaction, run multiple operations like AQL queries over a short period of time, and then commit or abort the transaction

Stream Transactions allow you to perform multi-document transaction with individual begin and commit / abort commands. This is comparable to the BEGIN, COMMIT and ROLLBACK operations found in relational database systems.

Stream Transaction work in conjunction with other operations in ArangoDB. Supported operations include:

  • Read and write documents
  • Get the number of documents of collections
  • Truncate collections
  • Run AQL queries

You always need to start the transaction first and explicitly specify the collections used for write accesses upfront. You need to make sure that the transaction is committed or aborted when it is no longer needed. This avoids taking up resources on the ArangoDB server.

Transactions acquire collection locks for write operations in RocksDB. It is therefore advisable to keep the transactions as short as possible.

For a more detailed description of how transactions work in ArangoDB, please refer to Transactions.

You can use Stream Transactions via the JavaScript API and the HTTP API.


Timeout and transaction size

A maximum lifetime and transaction size for Stream Transactions is enforced on the Coordinator to ensure that abandoned transactions cannot block the cluster from operating properly:

  • Maximum idle timeout of up to 120 seconds between operations.
  • Maximum transaction size of 128 MB per DB-Server.

These limits are also enforced for Stream Transactions on single servers.

The default maximum idle timeout is 60 seconds between operations in a single Stream Transaction. The maximum value can be bumped up to at most 120 seconds by setting the --transaction.streaming-idle-timeout startup option. Posting an operation into a non-expired Stream Transaction resets the transaction’s timeout to the configured idle timeout.

Enforcing the limit is useful to free up resources used by abandoned transactions, for example from transactions that are abandoned by client applications due to programming errors or that were left over because client connections were interrupted.

Concurrent requests

A given transaction is intended to be used serially. No concurrent requests using the same transaction ID should be issued by the client. The server can make some effort to serialize certain operations (see Streaming Lock Timeout), however, this degrades the server’s performance and may lead to sporadic errors with code 28 (locked).

Batch requests

The Batch API cannot be used in combination with Stream Transactions for submitting batched requests, because the required x-arango-trx-id header is not forwarded.

JavaScript API

Create Transaction

db._createTransaction(options) → trx

Begin a Stream Transaction.

options must be an object with the following attributes:

  • collections: A sub-object that defines which collections you want to use in the transaction. It can have the following sub-attributes:
    • read: A single collection or a list of collections to use in the transaction in read-only mode.
    • write: A single collection or a list of collections to use in the transaction in write or read mode.
    • exclusive: A single collection or a list of collections to acquire exclusive write access for.

Additionally, options can have the following optional attributes:

  • allowImplicit: Allow reading from undeclared collections.
  • waitForSync: An optional boolean flag that, if set, forces the transaction to write all data to disk before returning.
  • lockTimeout: A numeric value that can be used to set a timeout in seconds for waiting on collection locks. This option is only meaningful when using exclusive locks. If not specified, a default value is used. Setting lockTimeout to 0 makes ArangoDB not time out waiting for a lock.
  • maxTransactionSize: Transaction size limit in bytes.

The method returns an object that lets you run supported operations as part of the transactions, get the status information, and commit or abort the transaction.

The following example shows how you can remove a document from a collection and create a new document in the same collection using a Stream Transaction:

arangosh> var coll = "tasks";
arangosh> var trx = db._createTransaction({ collections: { write: [coll] } });
arangosh> var task = trx.query(`FOR t IN @@coll SORT DESC LIMIT 1 RETURN t`, {"@coll": coll}).toArray()[0];
arangosh> if (task) {
........>   print(task);
........>   trx.collection(coll).remove(task._key);
........>   var newTask = trx.collection(coll).save({ _key: "124", type: task.type, date: new Date().toISOString() }, { returnNew: true }).new;
........>   print(newTask);
........>   trx.commit();
........> } else {
........>   trx.abort();
........> }
arangosh> trx.status();
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  "_key" : "123", 
  "_id" : "tasks/123", 
  "_rev" : "_fw2Y28i--_", 
  "type" : "sendEmail", 
  "date" : "2022-07-07T15:20:00.000Z" 
  "_key" : "124", 
  "_id" : "tasks/124", 
  "_rev" : "_fw2Y28q--_", 
  "type" : "sendEmail", 
  "date" : "2023-03-29T16:02:06.955Z" 
  "id" : "81563", 
  "status" : "committed" 


trx.commit() → status

Commit a Stream Transaction and return the status.

Committing is an idempotent operation. It is not an error to commit a transaction more than once.


trx.abort() → status

Abort a Stream Transaction and return the status.

Aborting is an idempotent operation. It is not an error to abort a transaction more than once.


trx.collection(collection-name) → coll

Return a collection object for the specified collection, or null if it does not exist.

The object lets you access the following methods to perform document and collection operations:

Compared to the collection object returned by db._collection(), only a subset of methods is available, and the operations are executed as part of the Stream Transactions, but they work the same otherwise.


trx.query(aql-query) → cursor

Run an AQL query as part of a Stream Transaction and return a result cursor. The method works similar to the db._query() method.

ID → id

Get the identifier of the Stream Transaction.


trx.running() → bool

Return a boolean that indicates whether the Stream Transaction is on-going.


trx.status() → status

Return an object with the status information of the Stream Transaction. The object has the following attributes:

  • id: The identifier of the Stream Transaction.
  • status: The status of the Stream Transaction. One of "running", "committed", or "aborted".


See the HTTP Interface for Stream Transactions documentation.