Plone uses the ZODB database which implements Multiversion concurrency control.

Plone will complete either all database modifications that occur during a request, or none of them. It will never write incomplete data to the database.

Plone and the underlying Zope handles transactions transparently.


Every transaction is a read transaction until any of the objects participating in the transaction are mutated (object attribute set), turning the transaction to a write transaction.


Old examples might refer to the get_transaction() function. This has been replaced by transaction.get() in the later Zope versions.

Please read this Zope transaction tutorial to get started how to use transactions with your code.

Using transactions

Normally transactions are managed by Plone and the developer should not be interested in them.

Special cases where one would want to manage transaction life-cycle may include:

  • Batch creation or editing of many items once.

Example code:


Normally, a Zope transaction keeps a list of objects modified within the transaction in a structure in RAM.

This list of objects can grow quite large when there is a lot of work done across a lot of objects in the context of a transaction. Subtransactions write portions of this object list out to disk, freeing the RAM required by the transaction list. Using subtransactions can allow you to build transactions involving objects whose combined size is larger than available RAM.


import transaction

done = 0
for brain in all_images:
    done += 1
    # Since this is HUGE operation (think resizing 2 GB images)
    # it is not nice idea to buffer the transaction (all changed data)
    # in the memory (Zope default transaction behavior).
    # Using subtransactions we hint Zope when it would be a good time to
    # flush the changes to the disk.
    if done % 10 == 0:
        # Commit subtransaction for every 10th processed item

Transaction boundary events

It is possible to perform actions before and after transaction is written to the database.

See transaction documentation about before commit hooks and after commit hooks.

Undoing transactions

Everything that has happened on Plone site can be undoed through the Undo tab in ZMI, in site root. By default you can undo latest 20 transactions.

If you need to raise this limit just replace all numbers of 20 with higher value in file App/, restart site and now you can undo more transactions.