13.5. Serialization Failure Handling
Both Repeatable Read and Serializable isolation levels can produce
errors that are designed to prevent serialization anomalies. As
previously stated, applications using these levels must be prepared to
retry transactions that fail due to serialization errors. Such an
error's message text will vary according to the precise circumstances,
but it will always have the SQLSTATE code
It may also be advisable to retry deadlock failures.
These have the SQLSTATE code
In some cases it is also appropriate to retry unique-key failures,
which have SQLSTATE code
), and exclusion constraint
failures, which have SQLSTATE code
). For example, if the
application selects a new value for a primary key column after
inspecting the currently stored keys, it could get a unique-key
failure because another application instance selected the same new key
concurrently. This is effectively a serialization failure, but the
server will not detect it as such because it cannot
the connection between the inserted value and the previous reads.
There are also some corner cases in which the server will issue a
unique-key or exclusion constraint error even though in principle it
has enough information to determine that a serialization problem
is the underlying cause. While it's recommendable to just
more care is needed when retrying these other error codes, since they
might represent persistent error conditions rather than transient
It is important to retry the complete transaction, including all logic that decides which SQL to issue and/or which values to use. Therefore, PostgreSQL does not offer an automatic retry facility, since it cannot do so with any guarantee of correctness.
Transaction retry does not guarantee that the retried transaction will complete; multiple retries may be needed. In cases with very high contention, it is possible that completion of a transaction may take many attempts. In cases involving a conflicting prepared transaction, it may not be possible to make progress until the prepared transaction commits or rolls back.