A method for committing a distributed transaction in a distributed database system. The database system includes an interval coordinator, a plurality of database server programs, called coservers, and at least one transaction log. More than one coserver can operate on a single computer or node, and the coservers could share a transaction log. The interval coordinator sends each coserver a succession of interval messages, and each coserver flushes its associated transaction log to non-volatile storage in response. After flushing its transaction log, each coserver transmits a closure message to the interval coordinator. The coservers maintain a state which identifies the most recently received interval message. Each distributed transaction includes an owner and a non-owner, or helper. For a transaction, the owner transmits a request message to the helper identifying an operation in the distributed transaction for the coserver to execute. Upon execution of the operation, the coserver transmits a completion message to the owner with a tag identifying the most recently received interval message. After receiving said completion message, the owner transmits an eligibility message for the transaction to the interval coordinator. Then the interval coordinator writes a commit state for the transaction to stable storage. Then the interval coordinator sends the owner and helper a commit message for the transaction.