I have a oracle table PHONE_NUMBER which has 2 columns PHONE and STATUS

1     U
2     O
3     U

U stands for used , O is open/UnUSED .

in my input I will get n as input number , which signifies the number of phones I want to reserve(update status to U from O )

I want a query that will lock(something like SELECT FOR UPDATE) the any n available row (rows that are not locked yet and having status as O )

Constraints: Table has millions of Used and unsed phones


problem is i Want n (input) rows to be locked with a particular status . i.e i have to work with rownum

I will be getting multiple concurrent calls in my service with sqli_n as input number of records to select : so


this query wont work for me it will select only first n rows and if the first n rows are locked in 1 call the next/concurrent call will be stuck /wait until the first call updates the status to Used .

for update no wait will fail the above query

for update skip lock will also not work with row num

1 Answer 1


So, you have discovered that you can't do what you want; so you may want to do what you can by redesigning your process. One approach might be to introduce a new column, e.g. session_id, to indicate what application session, if any, is processing the row.

Each session will then start by atomically reserving a set of rows:

UPDATE phone_number SET session_id='<whatever>' 
WHERE status='O' AND session_id IS NULL AND ROWNUM<=:sqli_n;

It will then do whatever it needs to do and finally release the reserved rows:

UPDATE phone_number SET session_id=NULL 
WHERE session_id='<whatever>';

You'll likely need to revise indexes on this table.

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