When SQL Server Books online says that "Shared (S) locks on a resource are released as soon as the read operation completes, unless the transaction isolation level is set to repeatable read or higher, or a locking hint is used to retain the shared (S) locks for the duration of the transaction."
Assuming we're talking about a row-level lock, with no explicit transaction, at default isolation level (Read Committed), what does "read operation" refer to?
- The reading of a single row of data?
- The reading of a single 8k IO Page ?
- or until the the complete Select statement in which the lock was created has finished executing, no matter how many other rows are involved?
NOTE: The reason I need to know this is we have a several second read-only select statement generated by a data layer web service, which creates page-level shared read locks, generating a deadlock due to conflicting with row-level exclusive update locks from a replication process that keeps the server updated. The select statement is fairly large, with many sub-selects, and one DBA is proposing that we rewrite it to break it up into multiple smaller statements (shorter running pieces), "to cut down on how long the locks are held". As this assumes that the shared read locks are held till the complete select statement has finished, if that is wrong (if locks are released when the row, or the page is read) then that approach would have no effect whatsoever....