MTS Explorer

Not only does Microsoft Transaction Server provide an environment for executing transactional application, it provides a system to manage that environment. The MTS Explorer is a snap-in to the Microsoft Management Console that allows the developer to manage and deploy MTS applications.

Components are grouped together inside of Transaction Server into what are known as packages.  A package is generally made up of components that function together to create an application. Packages can be saved as redistributable components known as pre-built packages. These pre-built packages contain all of the files and information necessary to install the package on another system. This installation handles all the DCOM configuration allowing application on the remote system to be able to co-operate with the components in the package.

From the MTS Explorer, you can view information about each of the components within a package. The Explorer will display information about the methods and interfaces of the component. You can also use MTS Explorer to set some of the properties of a selected component, or group of components. One of these properties is the Transaction support flag for the component.

This flag determines how the selected component will support transactions within MTS. By allowing the MTS administrator to define how components will participate in transactions, MTS provides for consistent usage of the component. If this were left up to the developer, then they would be forced to choose the method of participation every time the component was accessed.

The four transaction participation states are:

  • Requires a transaction—This indicates that the component must run within the context of a transaction. If this component is called from within an existing transaction, then it will execute within that transaction. If there is no current transaction, then MTS will automatically create a transaction in which to execute the component.

  • Requires a new transaction—This indicates that this component must run within its own transaction. Even if this component was called from within an existing transaction, it is required that a new one is created for this component.

  • Supports transactions—This indicates that the component can participate within a transaction, but a transaction is not required. If this component is called from within a transaction, it will run within the environment of that transaction. If there was no transaction currently executing, then this component would execute separately as well.

  • Does not support transactions—This is used to indicate that the component does not support transactions. If this component were to be called from within a transaction, then it would be provided with an environment of execution outside of the current transaction. This is the default value for all components. 

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