COM+ application installation overview

You can develop COM+ applications in your own organization, where the developer has full knowledge of the target environment: user accounts, user groups, server names, and so on. The developer configures and exports the application. The administrator simply installs the application on the target system.

You can also purchase COM+ applications from a non-Microsoft application vendor. If the application vendor does not provide a regular installation program that guides you through the required installation steps, you must install and configure the COM+ application yourself.

Configuration of a COM+ application is often performed on a staging computer rather than on production computers. If you use a staging computer, you must export the configured COM+ application and a COM+ application proxy from the staging computer and install them on the production computers.

Manual installation of a COM+ application includes the following primary steps. Depending on how the application vendor or developer chooses to provide the application, not all of these steps may be required. For more information, refer to any information that might be provided with the application.

  1. On the staging computer, configure the COM+ application for a specific target environment.

  2. Export environment-specific, client-side installation files and server-side installation files from the staging computer.

  3. Install the COM+ application or COM+ application proxy on the production computers.

For procedures to complete these steps, see Manage COM+ Applications.

Staging and production computers

It is useful to install and test applications in a staging environment that you can use to simulate scenarios that are likely to occur after the applications are deployed on production computers that are used by other people on the network.

You can also use staging environments to manage versioning and to update components. Rather than changing configurations or updating individual components for an application on production computers, you can modify the application, test it on a staging environment, and then export it as a unit to be installed on the production computers.

In some cases, configuration is identical between the staging environment and the production environment, and the only difference is that the staging environment is not publicly accessible. In these cases, you can simply replicate the configured and validated application from the staging environment to the production environment.

Updating COM+ application versions

As COM+ applications become dated or are no longer used, you must update or remove them. If you want to upgrade a COM+ application, you must first delete the previously installed version and then install the updated application.

To remove and then install applications, see Remove COM+ Applications and Install COM+ Server Applications.

Server-side installation for COM+ applications

All the necessary information for a COM+ server application is contained in a server application file (.msi). You can use the Component Services snap-in or the Windows Installer to install the COM+ application from the .msi file.

To prevent unauthorized modifications of your exported applications, store server application files only in directories with restricted Write permissions. For additional security, sign your server application files using Authenticode™. For more information about using Authenticode, see Authenticode (

If a component in a COM+ application requires the installation or configuration of other resources—database connections, data or text files, Internet Information Services (IIS) virtual root configuration, and so on—these resources must be installed by using tools or utilities other than Component Services.

To install a COM+ application, see Install COM+ Server Applications.

Client-side installation for COM+ applications

After a COM+ server application is installed on a computer, it may be necessary to access the application remotely by using DCOM or Message Queuing.

If you want an application to be accessed remotely, you can use the Component Services snap-in to export a COM+ application proxy. The application proxy file (.msi) contains the necessary information to remotely access classes in a COM+ server application from a client computer through DCOM. By using the application proxy file with the Component Services snap-in, you can install the COM+ application proxy on the client computers in your site.

It is possible to create an application proxy that accesses a different server than the computer from which it was exported. This is useful when the application proxy for a production computer must be exported from a staging computer. To change the server name, click the Options tab on the properties sheet for the computer in the Component Services snap-in, and then enter the correct application proxy remote server name (RSN).

To install COM+ application proxies, see Install COM+ Application Proxies.