If you’re curious what is OLTP? It stands for Online Transaction Processing. It is a data processing category that focuses on transaction-oriented tasks. Updating, inserting, and deleting small amounts of data in a database are some of its main functions. OLTP handles massive numbers of transactions by a huge number of users.

OLTP Characteristics

Transactions in OLTP typically involve a small selection of records or a single record, and they’re typically very specific in the tasks they perform.

For instance, an online banking client sends money to her husband’s account from her own account. In this scenario, only two accounts are involved in the transaction. No other bank clients were involved.

Here are typical characteristics of OLTP applications:

  • Involvement of small amounts of data in transactions
  • A vast number of users
  • Access to data is indexed
  • Quick response time
  • Frequent updates and queries
Availability of OLTP Systems

OLTP systems need to be highly available most of the time. It’s because they handle a huge number of users and deal with mission-critical data every time.

For instance, an online shopping site is mission-critical to an online seller. If an online seller only makes money when clients purchase something in their online shopping site, then it needs high availability. Clients can’t purchase anything if the online seller’s shopping site goes down. Clients will then opt to purchase in other competing shopping sites that have higher availabilities. Therefore, the online seller will lose a large percentage of his potential revenue. Moreover, the online seller misses the opportunity to lure in long-term clients.

Compliance to ACID

OLTP databases are required to be ACID-compliant to maintain their data integrity. ACID ensures that database transactions are reliably processed by following its standard set of properties. This guarantees that transactions are durable, consistent, accurate, and isolated.


Now that the question ‘What is OLTP?’ has been answered, you probably realize by now how important it is in our daily activities in the digital world. Every day, millions of online transactions occur, and most of them are executed successfully thanks to Online Transaction Processing systems.

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