MTS to Be Fused with COM+

When Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) was released in late 1996, it was touted as the future core of a family of products that would constitute a distributed, object-oriented application framework. With the release of Windows 2000, however, MTS will be blended into COM+ and enhanced within that framework.

As part of COM+, MTS will add technologies such as database connection pooling, with support for SQL Server, Oracle and IBM DB/2 databases; automatic thread support; component state management; configurable security; process isolation through packages; and the grouping of applications into packages so failure of a component brings down only the package it belongs to.

"You can figure that COM+ will have everything that was in MTS, when it comes out in [Windows 2000]," says Joe Maloney, Microsoft Corp.’s group marketing manager, COM and MTS technologies.

Rather than add new features to MTS, developers are focusing on improving MTS’s functionality through new features within COM+. Highlights include the publish and subscribe service also available in MSMQ, queued components, dynamic load balancing and an in-memory database.

While most of these features will emerge with COM+ in Windows 2000, the in-memory database (IMDB) will take a longer time to reach fruition. An IMDB provides fast access to data by bypassing the physical disk. With the 64-bit architectures that Intel Corp’s Merced processor will bring, significantly more memory address space will be available. Microsoft officials say the company may include 64-bit support for Windows 2000 as a point release sometime in the year 2000. Windows 2000 is supposed to be released in 1999, but Merced won’t be available until the following year.

Microsoft is planning improved interoperability with other transaction environments through support for the Transaction Internet Protocol. Microsoft also plans performance improvements to the transaction, security and administration features of the former MTS.