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September 24, 2002—In this issue:
- Microsoft and AT&T Wireless Demonstrate New Location-Based Services Product
2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS
- Authenticate Access to Your Web Server
- Results from Last Issue's Instant Poll: Web Development Within Your Job
- This Issue's Instant Poll: Microsoft Licensing 6.0
- Planning on Getting Certified? Make Sure to Pick Up Our New eBook!
- Take Our Quick Survey and You Could Win a $200 Gift Certificate!
- Event Highlight: XML and Web Services Connections
- Featured Thread: Host Multiple Web Sites with NLB and SSL on the Same Host Computer
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
- Audit Changes to Your IIS Server
- Submit Top Product Ideas
6. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
Tim Huckaby, News Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft announced Microsoft Enterprise Location Server at the DEMOmobile 2002 conference last week. The new product integrates Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, XML Web services, and the AT&T Wireless Next-Generation Wireless Network and will be compatible with any platform that supports the Microsoft .NET Framework (i.e., Windows 2000 Server and later). On August 1, 2002, Microsoft and AT&T formally announced their partnership in the mobility applications space. Enterprise Location Server is the first deliverable product of that agreement.
The .NET Compact Framework lets developers easily build feature-rich Windows applications on their desktops in Visual Studio .NET, then target the applications to small devices such as Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition. At the conference, Microsoft and AT&T demonstrated a location-enhanced Instant Messaging (IM) application by using a Pocket PC Phone Edition device with Microsoft MapPoint (Microsoft's first commercially available Web service) to locate employees on a map in realtime, then communicate with them by using IM with Windows Messenger. The sky is the limit on what a developer can do with the Enterprise Location Server architecture and infrastructure. Picture using Enterprise Location Server as a real estate vertical application: A real estate agent can target and find available homes for clients in realtime over AT&T's carrier network while using a cell phone! Developers will be able to use the same programming model, development tools, skills, and, to a certain degree, code to build applications that span from small devices to the data center.
The Microsoft/AT&T partnership works by AT&T providing wireless communication for location services, which will pin down a Pocket PC phone device from the AT&T cell tower and provide Global Positioning System (GPS)-like capabilities over a cellular network. Granularity of the location depends on the density of AT&T cellular towers, but in the near future, triangulation between cell towers will let location services pin down a location within a couple hundred feet. AT&T hasn’t released information about what the service will cost but says it’s safe to assume the price will be relative to what it is today for wireless data service.
Expensive and propriety solutions are available now. QUALCOMM offers a wireless communication system to track semi-trucks and trucks on trains. Historically, such location-based, turnkey vertical systems have been extremely expensive and limited in functionality. With Enterprise Location Server, Microsoft and AT&T provide potential solutions at a fraction of the cost.
David Rasmussen, lead product manager for .NET mobile development at Microsoft, said, ″We want to democratize mobile development via a single toolset that spans desktops and devices. Visual Studio .NET developers everywhere can start building mobile applications. And, just as Visual Basic developers drove the personal computer revolution with better apps years ago, we're betting that Visual Studio .NET developers will trigger the same phenomenon with smart devices. We're doing the same thing with location. Through our partnership with AT&T Wireless and the Enterprise Locations Server, we're making location an ingredient that all developers can simply reuse."
Obviously, at times people won't want to be located. Microsoft provides an Enterprise Location Server policy to let users opt in or opt out of being located. The company using Enterprise Location Server decides and controls which cell phones will have location-based services and provides user control to opt out of being located.
Although it would be great to have this enterprise server component and AT&T infrastructure available today, it's way too early for Microsoft and AT&T to know exact pricing and availability. I believe it's safe to assume we’ll see this product available within the next 6 months. The next generation of mobility applications will undoubtedly succeed Enterprise Location Server.
Mobility applications haven't taken off as predicted 3 years ago for a couple of reasons. One reason is because of clumsy devices that are incapable and sometimes too large to make mobility easy. A second reason is the developers' inability to build regular applications that look good and run well because the technology hasn’t been there to support them in their efforts. In my opinion, Enterprise Location Server seems to be positioned to launch mobility.
To read more about the Enterprise Location Server announcement, visit the following URL.
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2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS
You can establish Web site security in many ways, including logon security to authenticate users or server security methods such as NTFS. You can rely on the Windows 2000 security system to use client certificates to authenticate access to your Web servers. Click the following link to learn what client certificates are, how to use client certificates, how to map client certificates to user accounts, and how to use certificate information on other applications.
The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions channel's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "What percentage of your job entails Web development?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 62 responses.
- 15% At least half of my job is Web development.
- 39% Less than half of my job is Web development.
- 18% None of my job is Web development.
The next Instant Poll question is, "How do you plan to deal with Microsoft's new Licensing 6.0?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions home page and submit your vote for a) We plan to sign up for the standard License (L) program, b) We plan to sign up for License and Software Assurance (L&SA), c) We plan to sign up for an Enterprise Agreement (EA), or d) We're considering switching to a non-Microsoft product.
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EVENT HIGHLIGHT: XML AND WEB SERVICES CONNECTIONS
October 30 through November 2, 2002
Learn how to enhance Web services development by using new tools. You can increase your productivity by using shortcuts, tips, and tricks you learn at the conference. Sessions include The Future of Web services, Understanding XML Standards, Managing Transactions in ASP .NET Web Services, Searching for Data in All the XML Places, Efficient and Effective XML .NET, and HTML Comes of Age: XHTML.
For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine Events Calendar.
PeteO wants to host multiple Web sites on the same host computers and have the sites look like individual Web sites. The computers have Network Load Balancing (NLB) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. He read that it's possible to host multiple Web sites with SSL on the computers but not when you add NLB to the equation. To help offer PeteO suggestions, visit the following URL.
5. NEW AND IMPROVED
(contributed by Sue Cooper, email@example.com)
Ecora Software released Configuration Auditor for Microsoft IIS, software that automates the process to discover, document, and track configuration changes to Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 and later. To enable potential security vulnerability assessment, acceleration troubleshooting, auditor-ready change report creation, and smoother mergers and consolidations, Configuration Auditor compares configuration standards of a selected server against other servers in the environment. Other features include baseline reporting, full scheduling capability, built-in reports and templates, and summary reports. Pricing starts at $200 for a 1-year subscription-based license or $300 for a perpetual license. Contact Ecora Software at 603-436-1616, 877-923-2672, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you used a product that changed your IT experience by saving you time or easing your daily burden? Do you know of a terrific product that others should know about? Tell us! We want to write about the product in a future What's Hot column. Send your product suggestions to email@example.com.
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