Unanswered: Remote transactions with linked servers
I'm rather new to SQL Server and have to see about developing a savings & loans system for a small finantial institution that has several remote locations. Each location will have a database with the accounts opened there. Operations like withdrawals can be done on any location and if they're non-local accounts, the remote database should be queried and updated at the same time. Transactions will be short but consistency is mandatory since they'll update several tables locally and at least on one remote database.
Reading about everything I could find, which was not too much, I learned replication will not help my problem, but distributed transactions using linked servers could. I have made some tests on my LAN with success but since I have so few experience, I'd like to know if these technologies are robust for a production environment, whether there're potential showstoppers, what version of MDAC/service packs/drivers is best, what kind of performance expect, etc.
Most servers will be interconnected with wireless loops, the farthest locations will have to use internet, all inside some secure VPN (still undecided, not my responsability). Total number of locations will be about 7, each will have 2, at most 3 clients that will need to access 1 or 2 remote servers.
Also, where I can find information about MS DTC? AFAIK there's no documentation installed with SQL Server 7, the MS DTC Client Configuration (Control Panel) and MSDTC Administrative Console are, apparently, installed on Windows 98 only, and it seems DTC it has been replaced by MTS 3.0 and later by COM+ ?
Probably, we'll be using SQL Server 7 and MS Windows 2000 Server. If you have any suggestions or comments, I'd be grateful too.