Windows 8 – Administrative Tools – Component Services

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If you are a normal user, then let me stop you right now. This topic is not more than a scribbling of black ink for you.

Microsoft introduced Component Object Model (COM) technology in early 90s. The goal of COM was to enable the developers to produce reusable binary code in a language-neutral and cross-platform way. COM, by its design, enforces implementers to provide well-defined interface to their objects.

Thus, a properly developed COM application would be able to be reused across several languages and platforms. Indeed, even today, COM objects have been reused by newer technologies like .NET without any concern of what .NET language is being used.

You may find COM frightening. However, COM applications are not uncommon. For example, Microsoft Office Excel is created by grouping several COM objects to work together.

COM+ is an extension to COM. It supersedes COM in a way. COM+ builds on COM, and provides additional services like distributed transactions, queuing, role-based security, etc., thus providing more automation, security and flexibility.

Component Services, an MMC snap-in, is used to administer COM+ applications on your system. COM+ is used in distributed applications. Such applications can be managed through Component Services. Naturally, this admin tool is meant only for very advanced users; mostly administrators.

Using this tool, an admin can deploy COM+ applications, and configure its permissions and other settings. Also, one can create an empty COM+ application using the wizard provided by the tool, which can be enriched later by writing code into it.

How to Launch It

Control Panel Way

  • Open “Administrative Tools” applet from the traditional Control Panel.
  • Launch “Component Services” from the list of administrative tools.

Command Way

  • Invoke Run window or Search Charm. Select the Settings tab in case of Search Charm.
  • Type in the command “comexp.msc”, and hit Enter.

Display Structure

Component Services is visually divided into 3 panes.

  • The leftmost tree pane hosts a hierarchy of COM+ applications and objects.
  • The middle pane describes the selected item in the tree pane.
  • The rightmost Actions pane lists commands related to the selected item in the tree pane, as well as any selected item in the description pane.

The node of your computer in the tree pane lists four main folders.

COM+ Applications

All the COM+ apps installed in your computer are listed here hierarchically. This is the node where you can add new or remove installed COM objects. Also, you can modify the properties of COM+ objects here.

DCOM Config

Here you can configure security permissions and authentication level for individual COM applications. There is no hierarchy here; all the applications are located directly under the folder, instead.

Running Processes

The COM+ applications that are running currently get a place under this node.

Distributed Transaction Coordinator

This node features transactions that happen between COM applications of different network computers. It branches into two nodes – Transaction List lists the current transactions, while Transaction Statistics, as implied by the name, displays statistical data like speed, response time, etc., for the transaction

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