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Orphans are pending calls in a service (and on behalf of a transaction) whose responses were not received by the client - for instance because there were exceptions during the call, or because the call has timed out without response.

This means that the view of the transaction scope is not consistent between the client and the service. Therefore, any attempt to commit will persist an undefined transaction scope, and this is not allowed to preserve integrity of the data. In practice, this means that prepare will fail and force a rollback of the transaction, so there will be no commit anywhere.

Orphan detection is required to allow retry of failed calls. To our knowledge, Atomikos is the only transaction manager that supports this. Consequently, retrying failed calls is only possible and safe if you use Atomikos.

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