COM+ 1.5 forms an integral part of Windows Server 2003 and has been much improved over the version that shipped with Windows 2000 Server. Features designed to increase the abilities (scalability, availability and manageability) of COM+ applications have been added.

COM+ Partitions
In this release, COM+ introduces support for COM+ partitions, a feature that allows multiple versions of COM+ applications to be installed and configured on the same machine. This feature can save cost and time-consuming effort of using multiple servers to manage different versions of an application or building services into the application to handle different versions of components. On a single machine, each partition acts, in effect, as a virtual server.

COM+ Services Without Components
With COM+ 1.5, you can use the services provided by COM+ without needing to build a component to contain the methods that call those services. This greatly benefits developers who do not normally use components but want to use COM+ services such as transactions or the COM+ Tracker. By using COM+ services without components, developers can avoid the overhead of creating a component that is used to access only the COM+ services that are required.

Application Recycling
Application recycling significantly increases the overall stability of COM+ applications. Because the performance of most applications can degrade over time due to factors such as memory leaks, reliance on third-party code, and non-scalable resource usage, COM+ application recycling provides a simple solution to gracefully shut down a process associated with an application and restart it.

Process Dumping
Troubleshooting applications in a production environment can be very difficult without disturbing the running processes. COM+ now provides a solution through its new process dump feature. This feature allows the system administrator to dump the entire state of a process without terminating it.

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-- James