This paper discusses the potential impact of multimedia on one classic distributed systems problem - the provision of transaction mechanisms to support fault tolerance and concurrency control. Several features of distributed multimedia sytems are highlighted: the real-time requirements of continuous media types, the cooperative styles of working and the engineering requirements across the range of media types. ; It is argued that, given these demands, multimedia will require a more flexible approach to transaction management. A framework for flexible transaction management is described. This framework is based on the ANSA architecture and allows applications to specify particular policies for concurrency control, recovery and real-time behaviour.