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DTC Tracing

The DTC tracing feature allows a user to trace the high-level transitions that a distributed transaction undergoes during its lifetime. DTC tracing is designed primarily as a tool that customers can use to provide information to Microsoft support personnel for troubleshooting purposes.

A DTC tracing session automatically starts up whenever a DTC process begins. When started, the DTC tracing session executes in the background and writes the data to disk for viewing later.

The trace data includes information such as the transaction ID, date, and timestamp for a transaction. To house the trace data, the DTC creates a trace log file in binary file format. Writing to a binary file reduces the impact on system performance and satisfies localization requirements. After the file has been generated, the user can execute a utility that converts the file to a readable format. The log file also shows trace data on the various transitions that occur during a transaction, such as the following:

  • The transaction was initiated.

  • A resource manager enlisted in the transaction.

  • The client requested a commit.

  • A resource voted to commit or abort the transaction.

  • A transaction was propagated.

You can use the DTC to trace either local or distributed transactions. For distributed transactions, the trace data is written on each machine that is involved in the transaction. Furthermore, because timestamps on multiple machines might not be synchronized, the DTC generates messages that help the user correlate the trace output on those machines.

The following topics in this section provide detailed information about DTC tracing:

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