Deadlock on SELECT/UPDATE

deadlockisolationsql-server-2008transactions

I'm having a problem with deadlock on SELECT/UPDATE on SQL Server 2008.
I read answers from this thread: SQL Server deadlocks between select/update or multiple selects but I still don't understand why I get deadlock.

I have recreated the situation in the following testcase.

I have a table:

CREATE TABLE [dbo].[SessionTest](
    [SessionId] UNIQUEIDENTIFIER ROWGUIDCOL NOT NULL,
    [ExpirationTime] DATETIME NOT NULL,
    CONSTRAINT [PK_SessionTest] PRIMARY KEY CLUSTERED (
        [SessionId] ASC
    ) WITH (
        PAD_INDEX  = OFF, 
        STATISTICS_NORECOMPUTE  = OFF, 
        IGNORE_DUP_KEY = OFF, 
        ALLOW_ROW_LOCKS  = ON, 
        ALLOW_PAGE_LOCKS  = ON
    ) ON [PRIMARY]
) ON [PRIMARY]
GO

ALTER TABLE [dbo].[SessionTest] 
    ADD CONSTRAINT [DF_SessionTest_SessionId] 
    DEFAULT (NEWID()) FOR [SessionId]
GO

I'm trying first to select a record from this table and if the record exists set expiration time to current time plus some interval. It is accomplished using following code:

protected Guid? GetSessionById(Guid sessionId, SqlConnection connection, SqlTransaction transaction)
{
    Logger.LogInfo("Getting session by id");
    using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand())
    {
        command.CommandText = "SELECT * FROM SessionTest WHERE SessionId = @SessionId";
        command.Connection = connection;
        command.Transaction = transaction;
        command.Parameters.Add(new SqlParameter("@SessionId", sessionId));

        using (SqlDataReader reader = command.ExecuteReader())
        {
            if (reader.Read())
            {
                Logger.LogInfo("Got it");
                return (Guid)reader["SessionId"];
            }
            else
            {
                return null;
            }
        }
    }
}

protected int UpdateSession(Guid sessionId, SqlConnection connection, SqlTransaction transaction)
{
    Logger.LogInfo("Updating session");
    using (SqlCommand command = new SqlCommand())
    {
        command.CommandText = "UPDATE SessionTest SET ExpirationTime = @ExpirationTime WHERE SessionId = @SessionId";
        command.Connection = connection;
        command.Transaction = transaction;
        command.Parameters.Add(new SqlParameter("@ExpirationTime", DateTime.Now.AddMinutes(20)));
        command.Parameters.Add(new SqlParameter("@SessionId", sessionId));
        int result = command.ExecuteNonQuery();
        Logger.LogInfo("Updated");
        return result;
    }
}

public void UpdateSessionTest(Guid sessionId)
{
    using (SqlConnection connection = GetConnection())
    {
        using (SqlTransaction transaction = connection.BeginTransaction(IsolationLevel.Serializable))
        {
            if (GetSessionById(sessionId, connection, transaction) != null)
            {
                Thread.Sleep(1000);
                UpdateSession(sessionId, connection, transaction);
            }
            transaction.Commit();
        }
    }
}

Then if I try to execute test method from two threads and they try to update same record I get following output:

[4] : Creating/updating session
[3] : Creating/updating session
[3] : Getting session by id
[3] : Got it
[4] : Getting session by id
[4] : Got it
[3] : Updating session
[4] : Updating session
[3] : Updated
[4] : Exception: Transaction (Process ID 59) was deadlocked 
on lock resources with another process and has been 
chosen as the deadlock victim. Rerun the transaction.

I can't understand how it can happen using Serializable Isolation Level. I think first select should lock row/table and won't let another select to obtain any locks. The example is written using command objects but it's just for test purposes. Originally, i'm using linq but I wanted to show simplified example. Sql Server Profiler shows that deadlock is key lock. I will update the question in few minutes and post graph from sql server profiler. Any help would be appreciated. I understand that solution for this problem may be creating critical section in code but I'm trying to understand why Serializable Isolation Level doesn't do the trick.

And here is the deadlock graph:
deadlock http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/9970/deadlock.gif

Thanks in advance.

Best Solution

Its not enough to have a serializable transaction you need to hint on the locking for this to work.

The serializable isolation level will still usually acquire the "weakest" type of lock it can which ensures the serializable conditions are met (repeatable reads, no phantom rows etc)

So, you are grabbing a shared lock on your table which you are later (in your serializable transaction) trying to upgrade to an update lock. The upgrade will fail if another thread is holding the shared lock (it will work if no body else it holding a shared lock).

You probably want to change it to the following:

SELECT * FROM SessionTest with (updlock) WHERE SessionId = @SessionId

That will ensure an update lock is acquired when the SELECT is performed (so you will not need to upgrade the lock).