What is MSDTC?

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What is MSDTC?
MSDTC stands for “Microsoft Transaction Coordinator”. It is a service component that comes built-in to the Windows operating systems starting with the Windows 2000 version and later versions including Windows NT version 4.0. This service component runs through its application file, msdtc.exe, and functions to coordinate several transactions involving multiple file systems, database files, and message queues. In its basic sense, this application allows for multiple sources of data coming from a single transaction. MSDTC then performs its function to sort out and manage the task and later distribute them among the involved servers that were supposedly “included” in the single transaction.

The transactions involved in MSDTC functioning have four vital or “ACID” properties. A stands for “atomic”. This means that the “all or nothing” principle applies. C stands for “consistent”, I is for “isolated” which marks the independent status of concurrent transactions. D stands for “durable” pertaining to the whole system of transaction processing. Because of these properties, the whole point of distributed type of computing has become efficient and reliable. These properties also serve as security in cases wherein one of the various system operations crashes at a certain time.

The MSDTC application or service system typically is installed in the background along with other applications that needs or uses it. Microsoft server applications like SQL Server and Personal Web Server are examples of applications that typically require the use of the transaction coordinating capabilities of MSDTC. When one finds that the msdtc.exe or application is running in the background, it is advised not to disable or terminate it. The latest version of the file is only 6KB and so doesn’t take so much hardware space. Msdtc.exe is saved at the system32 folder under the main Windows folder. If a user has doubts on the legitimacy of this application, it is best to consult with computer experts rather than remove the file by him/herself.


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