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System.Transactions: New and Improved Transaction Management Model for .NET 2.0

Ok, so System.Transactions is not new to many .NET developers but it’s new to me. We have just started to research transaction management in my current .NET 2.0 project at work and  System.Transactions is looking beautiful. It gives us exactly what we need without the overhead of the old EnterpriseServices model (registering with COM+, having a strong name key, etc.) or the high maintenance of manual transaction management.

System.Transactions is more light-weight compared to EnterpriseServices. The programming model is relatively simple. You use the TransactionScope class to wrap your code inside a transaction. TransactionScope can be nested and can be assigned different transaction options such as Required or RequiresNew, similar to the various transaction attributes for EnterpriseServices.

using (TransactionScope scope = new TransactionScope()) 
{ 
  // do some work here (like executing a SQL, calling a method, etc.) 

  // The Complete method commits the transaction. If an exception has been thrown, 
  // Complete is not  called and the transaction is rolled back. 
  scope.Complete(); 
}

In my brief testing with Enterprise Library 2.0 and an Oracle database via Oracle Data Provider, I found that System.Transactions always enlist my transactions in MSDTC (Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator). I am sure there is some overhead associated with this. I will do some more performance test later to find out exactly what the overhead is. I was hoping that for a transaction involing a single database/connection string, that MSDTC would not be needed. But further research indicated that the non-MSDTC/light-weight transaction only works with SQL Server 2005.

If your transaction management needs extend beyond databases, you can even write your own resource manages so that operations such as copying a file can be wrapped inside a transaction as well. Look into the IEnlistmentNotification interface.

Here are some good articles about System.Transactions for your further reading:

Chinh Do

I occasionally blog about programming (.NET, Node.js, Java, PowerShell, React, Angular, JavaScript, etc), gadgets, etc. Follow me on Twitter for tips on those same topics. You can also find me on GitHub.

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