COM+ - the backbone of Windows DNA
Author: Mahesh Bhide
This article assumes that the reader is familiar with n-tier application development methodologies. The article explains the importance of use of COM+ in applications designed around Windows Distributed interNet Architecture (DNA).
Before finding out how COM+ is a backbone of Windows DNA, lets briefly consolidate our understanding about Windows DNA and COM+.
What is Windows DNA?
Microsoft Windows Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) is an architecture that enables developers to integrate Web-based and client/server applications in a single, unified architecture.
Windows DNA integrates - and offers solution for - every aspect of Internet application development, including:
Directory Services, Component Services, Web Services, Data Access, Message Queuing, Online Business, XML Interoperability and Workflow, Host Interoperability, Database, Development Tools, Messaging and Collaboration.
The goal of Windows DNA is to help developer concentrate more on business logic than on systems integration.
What is COM+?
COM+ is the evolution of Component Object Model (COM) and Microsoft® Transaction Server (MTS). It is a run-time core that enables an application execution environment that allows developers choose the services for their applications (COM components) - the services such as transactions, security, queuing etc. So it actually provides a high performance application-hosting environment that's very easy to manage.
To understand how COM+ forms a backbone of Windows DNA lets build a scenario.
Lets say we have decided to develop a simple Web application running on Windows platform that interacts with database. We draw a multi-tier logical diagram for our application showing the application that will run at each tier.
Since we have decided to use Windows platform Windows DNA architecture helps us to choose the solution for the applications:
Browser Internet Explorer
The web application should be developed according to following performance guidelines:
The above guidelines demand following actions for us, developers
COM+ comes to the rescue of developers
If we host our site on Windows 2000 which now includes Internet Information Server as a service, we can make use of COM+ that comes to the rescue of developers and takes care of all the actions we have listed above.
If you are using Windows NT then the same can be achieved with the help of Microsoft Transaction Server. In fact COM+ is combination of COM, DCOM and MTS. COM+ name is given to indicate that the new offering is essentially COM plus more.
This shows that COM+ in Windows 2000 is very important part of Windows DNA since it helps to integrate all tiers (User, Business, and Data) in a unified interface.
Here we have just covered the importance of COM+ in Windows DNA. As you start exploring COM+ you will realize how easy it is to use COM+ and take full advantage of the services it offers.
In this article we saw how Windows DNA helps us to choose solution for every aspect of Web application and importance of COM+ in integrating these solutions easily. COM+ is a combination of COM, DCOM and MTS along with some new feature such as Queued Components, Loosely Coupled Events etc.
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About the Author
Mahesh Bhide is an employee of Diaspark Inc, a New York based consulting company and currently works as a consultant for Citibank developing Intranet application.
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