All assertions and retractions in Datomic happen within a transaction that guarantees ACID consistency. Along with the domain data involved, Datomic also automatically asserts a timestamp as part of a created Transaction entity for that transaction.

Say that we create a new person with entity id e5:

val e5 ="Fred").likes("pizza").save.eid

Then the following assertions are made:

The 4th column of the quintuplets is the entity id of the transaction where the fact was asserted or retracted. In this case the two facts about Fred was asserted in transaction tx4. tx4 is an entity id (Long) exactly as the entity id of fred e5.

The time of the transaction date1 (java.util.Date) is asserted with the transaction entity id tx4 as its entity id. And since that timestamp fact is also part of the same transaction tx4 is also the transaction value (4th column) for that fact.

Transaction entity id tx

Since the transaction is itself an entity exactly as any other entity we can query it as we query our own domain data.

Molecule offers some generic attributes that makes it easy to access transaction data. In our example we could find the transaction entity id of the assertion of Freds name by adding the generic attribute tx right after the name_ attribute (that we have made tacit with the underscore since we’re not interested in value “Fred”):

“In what transaction was Freds name asserted?”

Person(e5).name_.tx.get.head === tx4  // 13194139534340L

The tx attribute gets the 4th quintuplet value of its preceeding attribute in a molecule. We can see that name of entity e5 (Fred) was asserted in transaction tx4 since the value tx4 was saved as the name quintuplet’s 4th value.

Transaction value t

Alternatively we can get a transaction value t

Person(e5).name_.t.get.head === t4  // 1028L

Transaction time txInstant

With the transaction entity available we can then also get to the value of the timestamp fact of that transaction entity. For convenience Molecule has a generic txIntstant to lookup the timestamp which is a date.util.Date:

“When was Freds name asserted?”

Person(e5).name_.txInstant.get.head === date1  // Tue Apr 26 18:35:41

Transaction data per attribute

Since each fact of an entity could have been stated in different transactions, transaction data is always tied to only one attribute.

Say for instance that we assert Fred’s age in another transaction tx5, then we could subsequently get the two transactions involved:

“Was Fred’s name and age asserted in the same transaction?”

// Second transaction
val tx5 = Person(e5).age(38).update.tx

// Retrieve transactions of multiple attributes
Person(e5).name_.tx.age_.tx.get.head === (tx4, tx5)

// No, name and age were asserted in different transactions
tx4 !== tx5

Likewise we could ask

“At what time was Fred’s name and age asserted”

Person(e5).name_.txInstant.age_.txInstant.get.head === (date1, date2)

// Fred's name was asserted before his age
date1.before(date2) === true


Transaction bundle…