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Microsoft® Transaction Server is an important feature of the Microsoft Windows NT® operating system that simplifies the development and deployment of server-centric applications built using Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) technologies. MTS is ideal for developing line-of-business and electronic commerce applications with Web-based interfaces. MTS revolutionized the way that developers build server-centric applications by providing a true component-oriented run-time environment that eliminates writing infrastructure code.

  • MTS is the easiest way to build and deploy COM-based applications on Windows. The true component-based architecture of MTS simplifies object use and reuse, and administrators perform management tasks via graphical, drag-and-drop user interfaces.

  • MTS offers comprehensive component functionality such as automatic transaction support, simple but powerful role-based security, access to popular databases, message queuing products and mainframe-based applications, and performance-enhancing features such as database connection pooling.

  • MTS is fully integrated with other Windows features such as IIS and Active Server Pages (ASP) for ease of Internet/intranet application development, Windows NT clustering services for failover protection, MSMQ for reliable, loosely coupled communication, and the Windows NT security environment for simplified resource control.

Application logic components can access a number of different databases, Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ), and, via Microsoft SNA Server 4.0, CICS and IMS applications. Access to databases and resources is done through MTS Resource Dispensers that perform services such as connection pooling automatically. MTS also supports automatic transactions so that access to data and resources is done with all-or-nothing protection.

 The process of handling application requests from Web
 servers is more difficult than it sounds:

  • Most Web servers provide little or no application infrastructure themselves. They can invoke an application or script, but it is up to the developer to provide basic services such as database access.

  • Most application development technologies that provide good infrastructure services don't integrate well with Web servers. For example, a common problem is maintaining information about users between browser requests in the connectionless world of the Web.

Conventional solutions to these issues rely on mechanisms such as Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scripts, which work well enough for basic applications, but are not scalable or robust enough for line-of-business or electronic commerce applications.

By combining IIS Active Server Pages with MTS, companies can build powerful line-of-business and electronic commerce applications—out of reusable components—with interactive and dynamic Web-based interfaces. In fact, while ASPs alone can implement significant amounts of calculations and database access, Microsoft recommends using ASPs for presentation management and MTS for application logic. This approach yields Web-based applications, built from reusable components, that can support a large number of users, perform complex calculations, and access multiple databases and other resources such as mainframe applications.




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