Developer .NET UPDATE--The New System.Transactions Namespace--April 15, 2005

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1. Developer .NET Perspectives

  • Visual Studio 2005's New System.Transactions Namespace
  • 2. News

  • The 2nd Annual SQL Server Magazine Readers' Choice Awards
  • Bill Baker to Speak at Opening SQL Server 2005 Roadshow Events
  • 3. Events and Resources

  • Microsoft TechEd 2005 Europe, July 5-8, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Discover All You Need to Know on 64-bit Computing in the Enterprise
  • Ensure SQL Server High Availability
  • 4. Featured White Paper

  • Quantify the Business Benefits of ITSM
  • 5. Announcement

  • Nominate Yourself or a Friend for the MCP Hall of Fame
  • 6. New and Improved

  • Software for Managing Agile Development Processes

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    1. Developer .NET Perspectives

    by Bill Sheldon, [email protected]


    Visual Studio 2005's New System.Transactions Namespace
    There's a new namespace that's coming with Visual Studio 2005. But before I discuss this namespace, I want to tell you about some of the feedback and events that have occurred since my last commentary "Is Chicken Little a VB 6.0 Developer?" (

    In "Is Chicken Little a VB 6.0 Developer?" I discussed how some developers are panicking because Visual Basic 6.0 (VB 6.0) is aging. Microsoft heard about the panicking developers' concerns. Jay Roxe, Microsoft's Program Manager for Visual Basic, took action and created VBRun: The Visual Basic 6.0 Resource Center ( to address developers' concerns. This Web site is devoted to helping VB 6.0 developers migrate both their skills and their applications to VB.NET.

    Now back to Visual Studio 2005's new namespace. When I was working on an article for SQL Server Magazine, a fellow author claimed that transactions--in particular, distributed transactions--aren't something that most developers are interested in. I happen to disagree with him because I feel that most developers are very interested in transactions. However, I also feel that up until now distributed transactions have been difficult and in most cases not worth the effort.

    Let me defend that position. How many of you are using COM+ to create distributed transactions? More important, how many of you are taking .NET assemblies and placing them under COM+? I don't see many hands when I ask these questions during a presentation. The reason is that integrating COM+ with .NET is difficult.

    When developing with .NET, the only feature of COM+ you ever need is to manage a transaction that spans multiple data sources. As a result, most developers have reached the same conclusion: It's easier to create an architecture that lets you use a single transaction database than to implement distributed transactions. At the extreme, I've seen applications that commit transactions to one database from which another process then transfers the committed data to all the other databases, where the data permanently resides.

    Let's face it, most developers quickly learn that there are so many challenges in working with COM+ from .NET that they look for ways to avoid it. After all, trying to work out all the deployment, installation, and permission issues associated with a COM+ transaction chews up a lot of resources. Up until Visual Studio 2005, writing a custom and often unsafe distributed transaction manager was the only option. However, with Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft is introducing a new namespace: System.Transactions.

    The System.Transactions namespace doesn't directly replace what I'll refer to as the old Enterprise Services namespace. Instead, the System.Transactions namespace is similar to the System.Data.Common namespace in that it provides a more generic namespace for defining transactions. Unlike the Enterprise Services namespace, which was designed with the expectation that developers would create custom classes inheriting attributes from that namespace, the System.Transactions namespace is oriented toward providing classes that encapsulate the logic of a transaction. The result is that instead of defining a class and exposing it to COM+, you can add a reference to the System.Transactions namespace and create an object such as CommittableTransaction. The CommittableTransaction object encapsulates the logic to provide a distributed transaction. You don't need to be concerned with details about interfacing the distributed transaction coordinator; .NET has encapsulated those capabilities. More information about this namespace is available on the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) at Note that the classes in the System.Transactions namespace have changed significantly since beta 1.

    The System.Transactions.ComittableTransaction class is only the tip of the iceberg. The System.Transactions namespace goes beyond this one class, and that's part of what I explore in an upcoming article in SQL Server Magazine. That article, which will appear in the June issue, will focus on several of the features that bind Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005. As Microsoft moves toward the joint release of Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005, SQL Server Magazine (the primary sponsor of this newsletter) is making an effort to better cover how developers can leverage the power of SQL Server 2005 in their applications. So I hope you'll take a few moments to check out SQL Server Magazine and read that article, which will focus on Visual Studio 2005 beta 2.

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    2. News


    The 2nd Annual SQL Server Magazine Readers' Choice Awards
    You be the judge in SQL Server Magazine's 2nd annual Readers' Choice Awards! By voting for outstanding products, companies, and services, you'll have the opportunity to reward excellence in a variety of categories. The September 2005 issue of SQL Server Magazine will feature your favorite products and your choice of companies that provide the best products and services. Voting begins April 15 and ends May 15. Readers must log in to vote, so you must be a registered SQL Server Magazine Website user. Logging in to the site and completing the form is really easy this year. You can even return and complete the survey at your leisure so that you don't have to worry about completing it all in one sitting. After voting closes, we'll draw 12 winners from the participants. Two winners will receive iPod Shuffles (512MB version), and 10 winners will receive SQL Server Magazine T-shirts. Cast your vote!

    Bill Baker to Speak at Opening SQL Server 2005 Roadshow Events
    Bill Baker will deliver the keynote address on Tuesday in Boston at the first stop on the Get Ready for SQL Server 2005 Roadshow tour, produced by SQL Server Magazine and the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) and sponsored by Microsoft. Baker, GM, SQL Server Business Intelligence for Microsoft, will set the stage for the full day of SQL Server 2005 technical training by highlighting some of the innovations in SQL Server 2005. Baker will also deliver the keynote address at the New York, San Francisco, and Chicago venues.

    "We've been working hard on SQL Server 2005," said Baker. "We're looking forward to traveling the country to meet with our users, and showing them some of the amazing things they can do in their businesses with the technology we've been working on."

    The roadshow is coming to Boston on April 19, New York on April 21, Anaheim on April 26, San Francisco on April 28, Chicago on May 12, Houston on May 17, and Dallas on May 19. Walk-in registrations are encouraged. The registration fee for the roadshow is $99, which includes a full day of technical content, breakfast, lunch, the user group party, a one-year subscription to SQL Server Magazine, a one-year membership to PASS, an attendee bag, roadshow T-shirt, and the opportunity to win prizes from various sponsors, including an Xbox. Walk-in registrants may pay by check, cash, or credit card at the site. To see the full agenda and register online, visit

    The SQL Server 2005 Roadshow will include three content tracks. Scalability Experts trainers will lead the administration track, DevelopMentor trainers will lead the development track, and Hitachi Consulting trainers will lead the BI track. The roadshow will provide an in-depth look at the new SQL Server release from experts who have worked with the technology for months.

    "Many IT professionals are wondering how SQL Server 2005 will impact their work this year," said Michele Crockett, associate publisher of SQL Server Magazine. "There are a lot of questions about upgrading to the new database platform, and this Roadshow is designed to provide specific answers to all their questions."


    3. Events and Resources

    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)


    Microsoft TechEd 2005 Europe, July 5-8, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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    5. Announcement

    (brought to you by SQL Server Magazine)


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    6. New and Improved

    (by Karen Bemowski, [email protected])


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