What is the purpose of the sql rollback statement?

Question: What is the purpose of the sql rollback statement?

We will explore the purpose of the SQL ROLLBACK statement and how it can help us undo changes made to a database. 

SQL stands for Structured Query Language and it is a standard way of communicating with relational databases. SQL allows us to create, read, update and delete data in a database using various commands. 

One of these commands is the SQL ROLLBACK statement, which is used to revert the changes made by a previous transaction. A transaction is a logical unit of work that consists of one or more SQL statements that are executed as a single unit. A transaction can either be committed or rolled back. Committing a transaction means that the changes made by the transaction are permanently saved in the database. Rolling back a transaction means that the changes made by the transaction are discarded and the database is restored to its previous state.

The SQL ROLLBACK statement is useful when we want to cancel a transaction that has not been committed yet, for example, if we encounter an error, if we change our mind, or if we want to test different scenarios without affecting the actual data. The SQL ROLLBACK statement can only undo the changes made by the current transaction, not by any previous transactions that have already been committed.

The syntax of the SQL ROLLBACK statement is simple:


This statement will roll back the current transaction and discard any changes made to the database since the start of the transaction. To start a transaction, we can use the SQL BEGIN TRANSACTION statement, which marks the beginning of a new transaction. Alternatively, some database systems automatically start a new transaction when we execute any SQL statement that modifies the data, such as INSERT, UPDATE or DELETE.

Here is an example of how to use the SQL ROLLBACK statement:

-- Start a new transaction


-- Insert a new record into the customers table

INSERT INTO customers (name, email, phone) VALUES ('Alice', '[email protected]', '1234567890');

-- Update an existing record in the customers table

UPDATE customers SET email = '[email protected]' WHERE name = 'Bob';

-- Roll back the current transaction


-- Check the contents of the customers table

SELECT * FROM customers;

The output of the SELECT statement will show that the customers table has not been changed by the INSERT and UPDATE statements, because they were rolled back by the ROLLBACK statement.

The SQL ROLLBACK statement is a powerful tool that allows us to undo changes made to a database and prevent unwanted or erroneous modifications. However, we should use it with caution and make sure that we only roll back transactions that have not been committed yet. Otherwise, we might lose important data or cause inconsistencies in the database.

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