Readpast locking allows select and readtext queries to silently skip all rows or pages locked with incompatible locks. The queries do not block, terminate, or return error or advisory messages to the user. It is largely designed to be used in queue-processing applications.
In general, these applications allow queries to return the first unlocked row that meets query qualifications. An example might be an application tracking calls for service: the query needs to find the row with the earliest timestamp that is not locked by another repair representative.
For more information on readpast locking, see the Transact-SQL User’s Guide.