The IDBTransaction interface of the IndexedDB API provides a static, asynchronous transaction on a database using event handler attributes. All reading and writing of data is done within transactions. You actually use IDBDatabase to start transactions and IDBTransaction to set the mode of the transaction (e.g. is it readonly or readwrite), and access an IDBObjectStore to make a request. You can also use it to abort transactions.

Note that as of Firefox 40, IndexedDB transactions have relaxed durability guarantees to increase performance (see bug 1112702.) Previously in a readwrite transaction IDBTransaction.oncomplete was fired only when all data was guaranteed to have been flushed to disk. In Firefox 40+ the complete event is fired after the OS has been told to write the data but potentially before that data has actually been flushed to disk. The complete event may thus be delivered quicker than before, however, there exists a small chance that the entire transaction will be lost if the OS crashes or there is a loss of system power before the data is flushed to disk. Since such catastrophic events are rare most consumers should not need to concern themselves further.

If you must ensure durability for some reason (e.g. you're storing critical data that cannot be recomputed later) you can force a transaction to flush to disk before delivering the complete event by creating a transaction using the experimental (non-standard) readwriteflush mode (see IDBDatabase.transaction.

Note that transactions are started when the transaction is created, not when the first request is placed; for example consider this:

var trans1 = db.transaction("foo", "readwrite");
var trans2 = db.transaction("foo", "readwrite");
trans2.put("2", "key");
trans1.put("1", "key");

After the code is executed the object store should contain the value "2", since trans2 should run after trans1.

Note: This feature is available in Web Workers.


Inherits from: EventTarget

Rolls back all the changes to objects in the database associated with this transaction. If this transaction has been aborted or completed, then this method throws an error event.
Returns an IDBObjectStore object representing an object store that is part of the scope of this transaction.


IDBTransaction.db Read only
The database connection with which this transaction is associated.
IDBTransaction.mode Read only
The mode for isolating access to data in the object stores that are in the scope of the transaction. For possible values, see the Constants section below. The default value is readonly.
IDBTransaction.objectStoreNames Read only
Returns a DOMStringList of the names of IDBObjectStore objects.
IDBTransaction.error Read only
Returns one of several types of error when there is an unsuccessful transaction. This property is null if the transaction is not finished, is finished and successfully committed, or was aborted with IDBTransaction.abort function.

Event handlers

IDBTransaction.onabort Read only
The event handler for the abort event, fired when the transaction is aborted.
IDBTransaction.oncomplete Read only
The event handler for the complete event, thrown when the transaction completes successfully.
IDBTransaction.onerror Read only
The event handler for the error event, thrown when the transaction fails to complete.

Mode constants

Deprecated since Gecko 13 (Firefox 13 / Thunderbird 13 / SeaMonkey 2.10)
This feature has been removed from the Web standards. Though some browsers may still support it, it is in the process of being dropped. Do not use it in old or new projects. Pages or Web apps using it may break at any time.

These constants are no longer available — they were removed in Gecko 25. You should use the string constants directly instead. (bug 888598)

Transactions can have one of three modes:

Constant Value Description


(0 in Chrome)

Allows data to be read but not changed.



(1 in Chrome)

Allows reading and writing of data in existing data stores to be changed.


(2 in Chrome)

Allows any operation to be performed, including ones that delete and create object stores and indexes. This mode is for updating the version number of transactions that were started using the setVersion() method of IDBDatabase objects. Transactions of this mode cannot run concurrently with other transactions. Transactions in this mode are known as "upgrade transactions."

Even if these constants are now deprecated, you can still use them to provide backward compatibility if required (in Chrome the change was made in version 21). You should code defensively in case the object is not available anymore:

var myIDBTransaction = window.IDBTransaction || window.webkitIDBTransaction || { READ_WRITE: "readwrite" };


In the following code snippet, we open a read/write transaction on our database and add some data to an object store. Note also the functions attached to transaction event handlers to report on the outcome of the transaction opening in the event of success or failure. For a full working example, see our To-do Notifications app (view example live.)

// Let us open our database
var DBOpenRequest ="toDoList", 4);

DBOpenRequest.onsuccess = function(event) {
  note.innerHTML += '<li>Database initialised.</li>';
  // store the result of opening the database in the db variable. This is used a lot below
  db = DBOpenRequest.result;
  // Run the addData() function to add the data to the database

function addData() {
  // Create a new object ready for being inserted into the IDB
  var newItem = [ { taskTitle: "Walk dog", hours: 19, minutes: 30, day: 24, month: "December", year: 2013, notified: "no" } ];

  // open a read/write db transaction, ready for adding the data
  var transaction = db.transaction(["toDoList"], "readwrite");

  // report on the success of opening the transaction
  transaction.oncomplete = function(event) {
    note.innerHTML += '<li>Transaction completed: database modification finished.</li>';

  transaction.onerror = function(event) {
  note.innerHTML += '<li>Transaction not opened due to error. Duplicate items not allowed.</li>';

  // create an object store on the transaction
  var objectStore = transaction.objectStore("toDoList");

  // add our newItem object to the object store
  var objectStoreRequest = objectStore.add(newItem[0]);

  objectStoreRequest.onsuccess = function(event) {
    // report the success of our new item going into the database
    note.innerHTML += '<li>New item added to database.</li>';


Specification Status Comment
Indexed Database API
The definition of 'IDBTransaction' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 23webkit
10 moz
16.0 (16.0)
10, partial 15 7.1
Available in workers (Yes) 37.0 (37.0) ? (Yes) ?
objectStoreNames property 48.0 No support No support No support No support
Feature Android Android Webview Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile Chrome for Android
Basic support 4.4 (Yes) 22.0 (22.0) 1.0.1 10 22 8 (Yes)
Available in workers (Yes) (Yes) 37.0 (37.0) (Yes) ? (Yes) ? (Yes)
objectStoreNames property No support 48.0 No support No support No support No support No support 48.0
  • [1] Older versions of Chrome serialize all transactions. So even if you have only read-only transactions and no read-write transaction, your transactions are executed one at a time. Any subsequent transactions are not executed until all read-only transactions are completed. For the status, see bug 64076.

See also


© 2016 Mozilla Contributors
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.

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