What is “with (nolock)” in SQL Server?

Can someone explain the implications of using with (nolock) on queries, when you should/shouldn’t use it?

For example, if you have a banking application with high transaction rates and a lot of data in certain tables, in what types of queries would nolock be okay? Are there cases when you should always use it/never use it?


Answer

WITH (NOLOCK) is the equivalent of using READ UNCOMMITED as a transaction isolation level. So, you stand the risk of reading an uncommitted row that is subsequently rolled back, i.e. data that never made it into the database. So, while it can prevent reads being deadlocked by other operations, it comes with a risk. In a banking application with high transaction rates, it’s probably not going to be the right solution to whatever problem you’re trying to solve with it IMHO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *