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Re: How do I handle a DB error when a SQL statement must not fail?

by Anonymous Monk
on Mar 29, 2014 at 00:21 UTC ( #1080170=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to How do I handle a DB error when a SQL statement must not fail?

It was suggested to me a few days ago that maybe I am encountering a deadlock with two instances of my cgi script trying to insert data at the same time.

No, this likely is not the problem (impossible), you can have 100 of them simultaneous, as long as you can make 100 connections to msyql (mysql configuration stuff), and have enough ram, each and every CGI process should update stuff in the database

Alas, the 0.01% or less of the transactions that fail leave no record of their existence in the MySQL logs, the webserver logs, or logs I create using perl. This is a problem as none of the data involved can be lost,

This suggests network slowdown, where the CGI isn't being reached, very very slowly

Or it suggests a program on the webserver machine (or proxy infront of webserver) is running wild and out of control, eating all the CPU , going to swap , tying up the harddisks and ram and cpu all at once, so nothing else gets a chance to run

Or both things at the same time

The solution to let the web-user know it failed unless you're 100% sure it didn't

on my laptop this happens with windowsupdate sometimes, it always likes to eat cpu (fan kicks in) and read lots of harddisk , and sometimes it goes into infinite loop, then starts swapping memory to disk ... cannot do anyting on laptop, can't even kill windowsupdate, windowsupdate eats all hardware, and I have to reboot

so check your ulimits/proc limits... whatever you're using

if it happens around same time, check your cron jobs and the like (windows update, scheduled tasks ... whatever your os)

so if there is a time-frame/time-window when this happens, pick the hour, then flip on maximum process monitoring/logging and give that procwatcher the maximum priority you can ... and watch to see what happens :)

The way to handle this on the browser side is post-redirect-get ... if the post times out, the user submitting the data will get a timeout

The other way to handle it is post-redirect-get through AJAX ... make sure to notify the user when post-redirect-get fails

It should fail everytime the data isn't inserted in the database

This way there is no chance data goes missing


Comment on Re: How do I handle a DB error when a SQL statement must not fail?
Re^2: How do I handle a DB error when a SQL statement must not fail?
by ted.byers (Scribe) on Mar 29, 2014 at 03:41 UTC

    Thanks for this.

    It is reassuring that it is more likely an issue of the configuration of host we're using (as we can ask for more resources of any kind), rather than the code (except my code doesn't handle running out of resources well). And of course, we'll try to use resource monitoring, to see if we can identify what process is going crazy and consuming all available resources of whatever kind.

    We know that it can not be a scheduled task that is causing the problem because the periods during which data is presently being lost are random: no particular time of day or day of the week.

    The process is a user submits data to my cgi script, which validates it all, and if the validation check passes, some of it is sent to one or more of the web services we use, and the results we receive back from these is validated and combined with the request data we originally received to be stored. Since I can check the data on the services we're using, and it is checking that data that tells me about the missing data, and when it happens, that made me aware of the problem. We therefore know that I am receiving the data, successfully validating it, and sending it to the services we're using (which means the web service in question properly processed it). Thus, the failure is either that the web service fails to get it's response back to me, or at the point at which we store the data.

    Clearly I need to beef up the web logs, so that the web server actually stores the complete request that we receive, and in the case of the request we submit to the web services we're using, the complete request we submit and the complete response that we get, if there is one. What I normally see in these logs is the first few dozen bytes of data sent, or received, and a message that so many hundred additional bytes were sent/received. I do not yet know how to tell Apache to do that, so that is more documentation I need to study (unless you know and can tell me - I have not yet even figured out how to tell Apache to start new logs every day at midnight, keeping the logs with the current date embedded in the logs' file names - but I will figure that out sooner or later, unless someone just tells me how to do it).

    The critical data determining success or failure from the perspective of the user is whether or not the web services we're using successfully processed the data we sent to them. We can not tell the user that the transaction failed if the web service in question succeeded in processing the transaction, regardless of whether or not there is a subsequent failure, either in them communicating the result back to us or in our attempt to store the data. This failure must be handled entirely on my server, and in a way that preserves all data we received from the user and any data received from the web service(s).

    Thanks

    Ted

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