Replication error - ' unable to begin a distributed transaction''

Summary :

I am trying to setup replication between 2 servers (both Win2008 Server OS and SQL v2008) as 'transactional with subscriber updates'.
When I setup the subscriper server I get the error:
      'SQLNCLI for linked server "Site_SQL02" was unable to begin a distributed transaction'
      'SQLNCLI for linked server "Site_SQL02" returned message "No transaction is active" error - 7391'

But if I setup merge replication it works fine between these two servers.

Or when I setup the same (transactional replication with subscription) between this publisher and a different SQLServer (Win2003 OS Server and Sql v2005) subscriber it works fine.


The 2 servers are in the same domain but at different physical offices connected by a 2mbps satellite connection (not that fast, has other apps on that bandwidth).

I setup up the distributor (Win2008 Server, SQL Std v2008 SP1) Site_SQL02:
      - turned off the firewall
      - turned on DTS, enabled remote
      - SQLAgent running
      - using SSMS, setup this SQLServer as a distributor
      (SQL wizard - Configure Distributor : sets up the trans db in another folder and I setup that folder as a shared network folder. The share permissions are Everyone=Full)
      - using SSMS, created new publication 'Test04_trans'. This is a 'transactional with updates subscription, Subscriber pull'. The publication item is a single very simple table. The wizard added a field to this 'msrepl_tran_version'
      The script for this is shown in code window below. This publication procedure and script works successfully

I setup up the subscriber (Win2008 Server, SQL Std v2008 SP1) Office_SQL02:
      - turned off the firewall
      - turned on DTS, enabled remote
      - SQLAgent running

      - using SSMS, I am sitting on the Site_SQL02 box and in SSMS I Connect now to the other SQLServer, 'Office_SQL02'
      - whilst connected to this subscriber, Office_SQL02, created new subscription to the above publisher. The script for this is shown in code window below.
      This takes quite a while to run, like 4 to 5 mins. When it completes I get the error:

            TITLE: New Subscription Wizard

            SQL Server could not create a subscription for Subscriber 'Office_SQL01'.


            An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch. (Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo)


            The operation could not be performed because OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI10" for linked server "REPLLINK_Site_SQL02750965912_TESTRPLCN_-1284163390_TEST04_TRA2138751039_TESTRPLCN_312375228" was unable to begin a distributed transaction.
            Changed database context to 'TestRplcn_Subscriber'.
            OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI10" for linked server "REPLLINK_Site_SQL02750965912_TESTRPLCN_-1284163390_TEST04_TRA2138751039_TESTRPLCN_312375228" returned message "No transaction is active.". (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 7391)

What I have troubleshooted:

      - tried setting up as a Push subscription (Site push to Office instead of pull). I get same error as above.
      - tried setting up the subscriber same as above, a Pull subscription, but this time while sitting at Office_SQL02 terminal and using SSMS direct on the machine there rather than setting up while sitting at Site_SLQ02, I get this error:
            TITLE: New Subscription Wizard

            SQL Server could not create a subscription for Subscriber 'Office_SQL02'.


            An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch. (Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo)


            Cannot initialize the data source object of OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI10" for linked server "REPLLINK_Site_SQL02750965912_TESTRPLCN_-1284163390_TEST04_TRA2138751039_TESTRPLCN_312375228".
            Changed database context to 'TestRplcn_Subscriber'.
            OLE DB provider "SQLNCLI10" for linked server "REPLLINK_Site_SQL02750965912_TESTRPLCN_-1284163390_TEST04_TRA2138751039_TESTRPLCN_312375228" returned message "Unable to complete login process due to delay in opening server connection". (Microsoft SQL Server, Error: 7303)

      - I CAN setup merge subscription between Site_SQL02 and Office_SQL02 and it works. But I would like to use 'transactional with updates subscription, Subscriber pull' because our tables are very large and can change a lot and this is likely more appropriate to our setup.
      - I CAN setup a subscriber on another machine, a Win2003 Server with SQL Std v2005 (not v2008) and it sits in the same physical office (so not accessed across the satellite link), to the publisher (no change in the publication) and the replication works fine, both ways. I did this the exact same way as for Office_SQL02.

Any ideas?

Also, do I need SQL Browser service running?
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
/ ** setup the new publcation on Site_SQL02 **/
use [TestRplcn_Publisher]
exec sp_replicationdboption @dbname = N'TestRplcn_Publisher', @optname = N'publish', @value = N'true'
-- Adding the transactional publication
use [TestRplcn_Publisher]
exec sp_addpublication @publication = N'Test04_trans', 
	@description = N'Transactional publication with updatable subscriptions of database ''TestRplcn_Publisher'' from Publisher ''Site_SQL02''.', 
	@sync_method = N'concurrent', @retention = 0, @allow_push = N'true', @allow_pull = N'true', @allow_anonymous = N'true', @enabled_for_internet = N'false', 
	@snapshot_in_defaultfolder = N'true', @compress_snapshot = N'false', @ftp_port = 21, @ftp_login = N'anonymous', @allow_subscription_copy = N'false', 
	@add_to_active_directory = N'false', @repl_freq = N'continuous', @status = N'active', @independent_agent = N'true', @immediate_sync = N'true', @allow_sync_tran = N'true', 
	@autogen_sync_procs = N'true', @allow_queued_tran = N'true', @allow_dts = N'false', 
	@conflict_policy = N'pub wins', @centralized_conflicts = N'true', @conflict_retention = 14, @queue_type = N'sql', @replicate_ddl = 1, @allow_initialize_from_backup = N'false', 
	@enabled_for_p2p = N'false', @enabled_for_het_sub = N'false'
exec sp_addpublication_snapshot @publication = N'Test04_trans', @frequency_type = 1, @frequency_interval = 0, @frequency_relative_interval = 0, 
	@frequency_recurrence_factor = 0, @frequency_subday = 0, @frequency_subday_interval = 0, @active_start_time_of_day = 0, @active_end_time_of_day = 235959, @active_start_date = 0, 
	@active_end_date = 0, @job_login = null, @job_password = null, @publisher_security_mode = 0, @publisher_login = N'sa_Luke', @publisher_password = N''
use [TestRplcn_Publisher]
exec sp_addarticle @publication = N'Test04_trans', @article = N'tblTest01_trans', @source_owner = N'dbo', @source_object = N'tblTest01_trans',
	@type = N'logbased', @description = null, @creation_script = null, @pre_creation_cmd = N'drop', @schema_option = 0x0000000008035CDF, 
	@identityrangemanagementoption = N'manual', @destination_table = N'tblTest01_trans', @destination_owner = N'dbo', @status = 16, @vertical_partition = N'false'
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
-----------------BEGIN: Script to be run at Publisher 'Site_SQL02'-----------------
use [TestRplcn_Publisher]
exec sp_addsubscription @publication = N'Test04_trans', @subscriber = N'Office_SQL02', @destination_db = N'TestRplcn_Subscriber', @sync_type = N'Automatic', 
	@subscription_type = N'pull', @update_mode = N'queued failover'
-----------------END: Script to be run at Publisher 'Site_SQL02'-----------------
-----------------BEGIN: Script to be run at Subscriber 'Office_SQL02'-----------------
use [TestRplcn_Subscriber]
exec sp_addpullsubscription @publisher = N'Site_SQL02', @publication = N'Test04_trans', @publisher_db = N'TestRplcn_Publisher', @independent_agent = N'True', 
	@subscription_type = N'pull', @description = N'', @update_mode = N'queued failover', @immediate_sync = 1
exec sp_link_publication @publisher = N'Site_SQL02', @publication = N'Test04_trans', @publisher_db = N'TestRplcn_Publisher', 
	@security_mode = 0, @login = N'sa_Luke', @password = null
exec sp_addpullsubscription_agent @publisher = N'Site_SQL02', @publisher_db = N'TestRplcn_Publisher', @publication = N'Test04_trans',
	 @distributor = N'Site_SQL02', @distributor_security_mode = 0, 
	 @distributor_login = N'sa_Luke', @distributor_password = null, 
	 @enabled_for_syncmgr = N'False', @frequency_type = 4, @frequency_interval = 1, @frequency_relative_interval = 1, @frequency_recurrence_factor = 1, @frequency_subday = 2, 
	 @frequency_subday_interval = 30, @active_start_time_of_day = 0, @active_end_time_of_day = 235959, @active_start_date = 20090630, @active_end_date = 99991231, 
	 @alt_snapshot_folder = N'', @working_directory = N'', @use_ftp = N'False', @job_login = null, @job_password = null, @publication_type = 0
-----------------END: Script to be run at Subscriber 'Office_SQL02'-----------------

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Who is Participating?
LukeBConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I do have MSDTC setup, sorry was a typo in my post:
  turned on DTS, enabled remote

should have been :
   turned on DTC, enabled remote
I've got it to work - it was a security thing under the subscriber, I followed the SQLServer 2008 BOL:
Tutorial: Replicating Data Between Continuously Connected Servers

The thing is I do not understand why those users (4 on the Publisher, 2 on the Subscriber) have to be setup and looks like a workaround to mimic/impersonate users (local user on one server to the other).  In the real world I will like just set up one 'replcn' user and simplify a bit. It was the last step in this tutorial that really threw, me, see:

the part on 'Setting database permissions at the Subscriber', without that (looks like a workaround to mimic local users at both machines?) it will not work.

So ... would you like to explain that and keep this Q open or close this Q as 'self solved' and I post another Q with my new question?
Eugene ZCommented:
check if your MSDTC service was set


How to troubleshoot error 7391 that occurs when you use a linked server in SQL Server
Eugene ZCommented:
how-to setup MSDTC

You receive error 7391 when you run a distributed transaction against a linked server in SQL Server 2000 on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003;en-us;329332
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

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Eugene ZCommented:
Good Job!
open  new one Q with reference to this Q..
LukeBAuthor Commented:

I've done that, see Q_24538267
LukeBAuthor Commented:
moderator: I spoke too soon, I have not 100% solved it. Please leave Q open ...
LukeBAuthor Commented:

spoke too soon, it is not 100% working.

If I follow that MS tutorial it  works. But if is for is for transactional replication only, not 'transactional replication with subscriber updates'.

If I do the tuturial again and this time make the publisher 'transactional replication WITH subscriber updates' that goes ok. Then whien I do the 'Create Subscription' part and it creates the subscription I am getting an error show in attached "UnableToSetThePublisherLogin.jpg"

I think it has something to do with the wizard making a linked server and the linked accts (see LoginForUpdatableSubscriptions.jpg).

If I look at what the wizard did it creating a linked server calls it something like (See attached LinkedServerProperties.jpg):

and for Security it uses:
  local login= repllinkproxy
  remoteuser = sa (this is the remote sa)
  password = {password of remote server}

If I right click on the this linked server and use Test Link I get the error message:
The test connection to the linked server failed.

An exception occurred while executing a Transact-SQL statement or batch.   (Microsoft.SqlServer.ConnectionInfo)
Access to the remote server is denied because no login-mapping exists

So what I tried to do is add a New Linked Server myself by using SSMS - I right click on Linked Servers and get New Linked Server :
- at the General Tab I type in my Linked Server name which is the actual name of it, Site_SQL02.
- at Security I enter Local login = sa and remote users sa and the remote password
- at the Server Options
 Data Acess = True
 RPC = true
 RPC out = true
 Connection timeout =90
 Subscriber = false
 Enable Promotion of Distributed Transactions=True

when I do that I get the error shown in CreateLinkedServerError.jpg

"Cannnot initialize the data sosurce object of OLE provide SQLNCLI10 for linked server SITE_SQL02 - Unable to comple login process due to delay in opening server connection"

So there is some step missing here in both the Subscription Wizard and my manual Linked Server setup?
(sorry for screen shots, when I try to 'copy to clipboard' button on the error boxes it does not work)
LukeBAuthor Commented:
Need to create a linked server first and enable RPC
I have had success making the Linked Server connection work by opening the properties and changing the Security "For a login not defined in the list above, connections will: set to "Be made using this security context:" and entering the remote login information. In my case, I created a login on both the publisher and subscriber called "AppReplication" with server admin rights (just to eliminate that as one of the variables).
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