Windows Web Solutions UPDATE--June 17, 2003

1. Commentary: The IIS 6.0 Resource Kit

2. Keeping Up with IIS - Updating IE Can Cause IIS Conflicts - Results from Last Issue's Instant Poll: IIS References - This Issue's Instant Poll: Microsoft TechEd 2003

3. Announcements - Guide to Securing Your Web Site for Business - Fight Spam and Viruses, and Secure Exchange 2003!

4. Resource - Featured Thread: Domain Users Can't Answer Internet/Intranet Site

5. Events - Security 2003 Road Show

6. New and Improved - Analyze XML Metadata - Submit Top Product Ideas

7. Contact Us - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. Commentary: The IIS 6.0 Resource Kit

by Tim Huckaby, timhuck@interknowlogy.com

In my June 3 commentary, I wrote about the "Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit: Deploying Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0," commonly referred to as the IIS 6.0 Deployment Guide. Microsoft publishes this free book, which is available only in electronic form as a Microsoft Word document. You can download the book in parts or in its entirety at http://microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=f31a5fd5-03db-46d2-9f34-596edd039eb9&displaylang=en#filelist .

On May 30, Microsoft released another free Web download, the "Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Resource Kit," which includes 5.4MB worth of tools to help the IIS administrator run, secure, and manage IIS 6.0. You can download the free kit at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=56fc92ee-a71a-4c73-b628-ade629c89499&displaylang=en .

The following tools are available in this package:

- CustomAuth--Creates custom HTML logon pages to collect user credentials; supports either manual or timeout-based logoffs; offers a Web-based client authentication alternative to typical authentication methods, including Basic and Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM)

- IISCertDeploy.vbs--A Windows Script Host (WSH) script that deploys and backs up Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates on servers running IIS 6.0

- IIS Host Helper Service--Registers a Web site's host header or headers with name resolution services (DNS, NetBIOS, or WINS); you can use this tool in an intranet environment to avoid the complex process of manually modifying name records

- IISState 3.0--Troubleshoots slow performance on IIS 6.0; diagnoses applications that have stopped responding when running on IIS; helps you identify the causes of Dr. Watson and other application-related failures

- Log Parser Version 2.1--Processes information in the IIS logs; filters entries, converts log files to other formats, and mines data; supports many different input formats, including all IIS log file formats; supports multiple output formats, including text files and database tables

- MetabaseExplorer 1.6--A GUI that views and edits local and remote IIS metabases; you can use it to edit security settings for keys, to export and import keys and subkeys, to copy keys and subkeys, and to compare records

- Permissions Verifier--Verifies that IIS is configured with the minimum permissions required; checks ACLs for users and groups, so you can ensure that permissions aren't causing Web server problems

- RemapUrl--A security tool that changes URLs requested by clients on the fly completely transparently to the client in a local IIS scenario; supports conventional URL redirects and sending custom error messages

- SelfSSL--Generates and installs self-signed SSL certificates; you use this tool only to create a secure private channel between your server and a limited group, such as a developer group in a test environment

- TinyGet 5.2--A command-line HTTP client that supports multiple threads and looping for testing or troubleshooting HTTP client-to-server communications

- Web Capacity Analysis Tool (WCAT) 5.2--Uses custom-designed content and workload simulations to test different server and network configurations; you can test servers with single or multiple processors and servers that are connected to multiple networks; WCAT is the latest version of Homer, which Microsoft created to stress-test Web applications

- WFetch 1.3--An HTTP client with a GUI that tests or troubleshoots HTTP servers; doesn't render the HTTP response as most HTTP clients do but instead displays the request and response so that you can easily understand the communication

These 12 tools are a must for any IIS 6.0 administrator. Microsoft doesn't charge a licensing fee, so the decision to use them should be a no-brainer.

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==== 2. Keeping Up with IIS ====

Updating IE Can Cause IIS Conflicts

Question: We recently upgraded our IIS servers from Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 5.01 Service Pack 2 (SP2) to IE 6.0. Immediately afterward, we started having problems with database connectivity. Are the problems just a coincidence, or can an IE update affect how IIS operates? For the answer, go to the following URL:

http://www.windowswebsolutions.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=25222

Results From Last Issue's Instant Poll: IIS References The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions channel's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you benefit and learn from reading IIS references and publications?" Here are the results from the 27 responses:

- 74% Yes, I seek out all materials I can get my hands on.

- 22% No, I learn much better through experience.

- 4% No, I don't purchase such materials.

This Issue's Instant Poll: Microsoft TechEd 2003

The next Instant Poll question is, "Did you attend Microsoft TechEd 2003, and what is your opinion about it?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions home page and submit your vote for a) I went and was very satisfied, b) I went and was somewhat satisfied, c) I went but wish I hadn't, d) I didn't go but wish I had, or e) I didn't go and don't regret it.

http://www.windowswebsolutions.com

==== 3. Announcements ==== (from Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

Guide to Securing Your Web Site for Business Download VeriSign's new white paper, "Guide to Securing Your Web Site For Business," and discover the practical business benefits of securing your Web site. You'll also learn more about the innovative processes and technologies VeriSign uses to address Internet security problems. Download your free copy now!

http://www.verisign.com/resources/gd/secureBusiness/index.html

Fight Spam and Viruses, and Secure Exchange 2003!

Check out our June Web events, and get expert advice that will help you fight spam and viruses and also help you assess the security risks of Exchange 2003. There's no charge for any of these eye-opening, educational events, but space is limited so sign up now!

http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars

==== 4. Resource ====

Featured Thread: Domain Users Can't Answer Internet/Intranet Site

Forum member Royalty has 10 people in his Windows NT domain who recently upgraded to Windows XP Professional Edition. These users can log on to the domain and access network resources but can't usually access the company's Internet home page and intranet page. Occasionally, one of these users accesses the pages, then quickly receives an "Access Denied" message. When the user reboots, the problem clears up temporarily. Both of Royalty's Web servers are on the network and are running Windows 2000 Server with IIS 5.0. The event logs report no warnings or errors; however, the Event Viewer on the PDC shows constant logon and logoff messages. To lend this forum member a helping hand, click the following URL:

http://www.winnetmag.com/forums/rd.cfm?cid=41&tid=59512

==== 5. Events ==== (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine)

Security 2003 Road Show

Join Mark Minasi and Paul Thurrott as they deliver sound security advice at our popular Security 2003 Road Show event. http://www.winnetmag.com/roadshows/security2003

==== 6. New and Improved ==== by Sue Cooper, products@winnetmag.com

Analyze XML Metadata Swingtide announced Swingtide Monitor, software that monitors and analyzes heterogeneous XML networks, rather than monitoring the performance of the physical infrastructure. Businesses can discover, audit, and selectively extract XML metadata from the network. Swingtide Monitor sniffs XML traffic on the network and generates actionable views of performance and business activity. The Design Checker, Auto-Discovery, and Visualizer features help technical architects build scalable and manageable XML services. Pricing starts at $49,995. Early adopter program discounts are available until June 30. Contact Swingtide at 603-431-7900 or 866-843-8433.

http://www.swingtide.com

Submit Top Product Ideas 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 whatshot@winnetmag.com.

==== Sponsored Links ====

FaxBack Integrate FAX into Exchange/Outlook (Whitepaper, ROI, Trial) http://www.faxback.com/w2ksponorlink

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==== 7. Contact Us ====

About the commentary -- timhuck@interknowlogy.com About the newsletter -- cmader@winnetmag.com About technical questions -- http://www.winnetmag.net/forums About product news -- products@winnetmag.com About your subscription -- wwsupdate@winnetmag.com About sponsoring UPDATE -- emedia_opps@winnetmag.com

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