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Transaction Propagation

In WCF, transaction can be propagated across service boundary. This enables service to participate in a client transaction and it includes multiple services in same transaction, Client itself will act as service or client.

We can specify whether or not client transaction is propagated to service by changing Binding and operational contract configuration

        <binding transactionFlow="true"></binding>

Even after enabling transaction flow does not mean that the service wants to use the client’s transaction in every operation. We need to specify the “TransactionFlowAttribute” in operational contract to enable transaction flow.

public interface IService

    int Add(int a, int b);

    int Subtract(int a, int b);

Note: TransactionFlow can be enabled only at the operation level not at the service level.

TransactionFlowOption Binding configuration
NotAllowed transactionFlow="true"
Client cannot propagate its transaction to service even client has transaction
Allowed transactionFlow="true" Service will allow to flow client transaction.
It is not necessary that service to use client transaction.
Allowed transactionFlow="false" If service disallows at binding level, client also should disable at binding level else error will be occurred.
Mandatory transactionFlow="true" Both Service and client must use transaction aware binding
Mandatory transactionFlow="false" InvalidOperationException will be throw when serice binding disables at binding level.
FaultException will be thrown when client disable at its binding level.


  • Always create the service with Interface->Implementation format, mention the contract in Interface.
  • Define the service in Class library and refer the class library in Host project. Don’t use service class in host project.
  • Change the instance mode to per call as default.
  • Always catch exception using try/catch block and throw exception using FaultException < T >.
  • Logging and Include exception should be enable while compiling the project in debug mode. While in production deployment disable the logging and Include exception details.