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ServiceBehaviorAttribute.TransactionIsolationLevel Property

Specifies the transaction isolation level for new transactions created inside the service, and incoming transactions flowed from a client.

Namespace:  System.ServiceModel
Assembly:  System.ServiceModel (in System.ServiceModel.dll)

public IsolationLevel TransactionIsolationLevel { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Transactions.IsolationLevel
A IsolationLevel value that specifies the transaction isolation level. The default is Unspecified.


The value is not one of the IsolationLevel values.

The isolation level in which your transaction runs determines how data is treated when changes are made in other transactions and how long your transaction must hold locks to protect against these changes. For example, the default value, Unspecified, specifies that no updating or inserting can occur until the transaction is complete.

This property can also be used to restrict the isolation level of incoming transactions flowed from a client.

The following code example sets the transaction isolation level to ReadCommitted, does not support concurrent transactions, requires a flowed transaction from the method call, and commits the transaction automatically if no unhandled exception occurs.

using System;
using System.ServiceModel;
using System.Transactions;

namespace Microsoft.WCF.Documentation
  public interface IBehaviorService
    string TxWork(string message);

  // Note: To use the TransactionIsolationLevel property, you  
  // must add a reference to the System.Transactions.dll assembly. 
  /* The following service implementation:
   *   -- Processes messages on one thread at a time
   *   -- Creates one service object per session
   *   -- Does not release the service object when the transaction commits
   *   -- The isolation level is read committed.
  public class BehaviorService : IBehaviorService, IDisposable
    Guid myID;

    public BehaviorService()
      myID = Guid.NewGuid();
        "Object "
        + myID.ToString()
        + " created.");

     * The following operation-level behaviors are specified:
     *   -- Always executes under a transaction scope.
     *   -- The transaction scope is completed when the operation terminates
     *       without an unhandled exception.
      TransactionAutoComplete = true,
      TransactionScopeRequired = true
    public string TxWork(string message)
      // Do some transactable work.
      Console.WriteLine("TxWork called with: " + message);
      // Display transaction information.

      TransactionInformation info = Transaction.Current.TransactionInformation;
      Console.WriteLine("The distributed tx ID: {0}.", info.DistributedIdentifier);
      Console.WriteLine("The tx status: {0}.", info.Status);
      return String.Format("Hello. This was object {0}.",myID.ToString()) ;

    public void Dispose()
        "Service "
        + myID.ToString()
        + " is being recycled."

The underlying binding must support flowed transactions for the following code example to execute properly. To support flowed transactions using the WSHttpBinding, for example, set the TransactionFlow property to true in code or in an application configuration file. The following code example shows a configuration file for the preceding sample.

            <add baseAddress="http://localhost:8080/BehaviorService"/>
            <add baseAddress="net.tcp://localhost:8081/BehaviorService"/>
            This example code uses the WSHttpBinding to support transactions using the 
            WS-AtomicTransactions (WS-AT) protocol. WSHttpBinding is configured to use the  
            protocol, but the protocol is not enabled on some computers. Use the xws_reg -wsat+ 
            command to enable the WS-AtomicTransactions protocol in the MSDTC service.          
        <behavior name="mex">
          <serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled="true"/>
    <!-- binding configuration - configures a WSHttpBinding to require transaction flow -->
        <binding name="wsHttpBindingWithTXFlow" transactionFlow="true" />
        <binding name="netTcpBindingWithTXFlow" transactionFlow="true" />


Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0