I've written several articles for IIS Administrator and IIS Administrator UPDATE about Microsoft Application Center 2000's features and configuration details. Recently, I picked up the Microsoft Application Center 2000 Resource Kit from Microsoft Press, and I can tell you that this kit is worth every cent of its $40 price. If you run Application Center, this resource kit's a must; even if you don't run Application Center, I recommend that you pick up the resource kit. Let me tell you why.

The resource kit contains a wealth of technical documentation that you won't find in the standard user manual—technical details that drill down into the application's very core. The resource kit contains a paperback book and a CD-ROM that includes a fully searchable electronic version in eBook format. (The resource kit installs the eBook reader software.) The CD-ROM contains the resource kit Help file and excerpts from Michael Howard's "Designing Secure Web-Based Applications for Microsoft Windows 2000" (Microsoft Press, 2000).

The number of tools and utilities in the resource kit is truly amazing. If you've followed my commentaries over the past year and a half, you know that I love to automate IIS administrative tasks with Windows Script Host (WSH) scripting. If you use these scripts in production, you'll find the resource kit extremely valuable. In addition to script samples, the resource kit contains both tools that are specific to Application Center administration and tools that you can use with Win2K and IIS administration. Here's a taste of the type of scripting tools you'll find in the resource kit:

  • ClearEvents.vbs: Clears the events buffer on a specified machine or the entire Application Center cluster.
  • ComPlus.vbs: Enumerates the COM+ applications on a computer or server and lists the properties of each package.
  • EnableMonitor.vbs: Enables or disables a specific Application Center data collector; use the script as the basis for performance-monitoring automation.
  • EnableMonitors.vbs: Identical to EnableMonitor.vbs but globally affects all data collectors.
  • EnumClasses.vbs: Enumerates Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) classes within a defined namespace on a server.
  • EnumInstances.vbs: Enumerates the instances of a WBEM class within a defined namespace on a server.
  • EnumNameSpaces.vbs: Enumerates WBEM namespaces on a server; use this script as the basis for namespaces defined in the EnumClasses and EnumInstances scripts.
  • ListProperties.vbs: Lists the properties of a WBEM class. You can use EnumClasses.vbs to enumerate the WBEM classes.
  • MetaBack.vbs: Creates a backup of your IIS metabase. You can run MetaBack.vbs directly from Windows by using the WScript scripting host instead of the CScript scripting host.
  • MetaBackRest.vbs: Restores a backup of your IIS metabase. You can run MetaBackRest.vbs directly from Windows by using WScript instead of CScript.
  • NetworkProtocol.vbs: Displays detailed network-protocol information for a defined computer (also works with remote computers).
  • ProtocolBinding.vbs: Lists Network Protocol Bindings for a defined computer (also works with remote computers).
  • Restart.vbs: Shuts down, powers off, logs off, and restarts a local computer; reboots a remote computer.
  • ServerIDSample.asp: Displays the name of the specific Web server that's serving the .asp file. This piece of code is helpful when you use Network Load Balancing (NLB) to identify which servers are load balanced.
  • Service.vbs: Controls the services on a defined computer. You can use this script on local or remote computers to list services and their dependencies and to start, stop, or remove services or set a server's service mode.

This list is just a small sample of the resource kit's tools and utilities. You can find more details about the resource kit on Microsoft Press's Web site.