This month, I want to introduce you to the IIS-related tools and information in the Microsoft Windows 2000 Resource Kit. The resource kit contains books about various aspects of Win2K, including the Win2K Server Internetworking Guide and the Internet Information Services Resource Guide (for version 5.0). These books provide a lot of detail about Win2K, including background information, Web site performance, and case studies on Win2K deployment. For example, these books discuss the implementation of http://www.microsoft.com, complete with diagrams and specifics about network configuration.

You can find more information about the resource kit at http://www .microsoft.com/isapi/redir.dll?prd=win 2000&sbp=reskit&ar=home. This site also includes resource kit updates as they become available.

Installing the Resource Kit
When you have the resource kit CD-ROM, you can install the software from the GUI that appears. By default, the tools install in the \winnt\resource kit folder. Each set of tools is in a folder related to that tool's topic. (The IIS tools are in the IIS subfolder.)

The Documents in the IIS Folder
The IIS folder contains nonutility files, including Design Template.doc. This file is titled Web Services Design Specification Template, and it provides a good layout for designing Web applications. The first section in the template provides a location for version, date, and author information. The template also includes a table that you can use to track revisions to an application.

Systems administrators can use this template to eliminate problematic applications running on servers. Developers can use this template to document application designs, which helps alleviate design-related problems. Developers can also use the template to make sure they document and consider both applications architecture and end-user needs.

Another useful resource kit document is Functional Specification Template.doc. This template follows a similar layout to Design Template.doc. You can use Functional Specification Template.doc to document specifications for migrating a Web application or server.

Most of the other resource kit documents for IIS provide information about Web projects. Table 1 shows these documents and a short description of each. (The document filename is in parentheses after the document's title.) You can access these documents in either Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).

These documents are useful for many types of projects, even if the project isn't a migration project. I suggest that you review each document, then decide whether it works for you. You'll probably need to modify each document for your particular organization, then further modify the structure for individual projects.

Also, consider using tools such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project with these documents to manage your project. I've been using Microsoft Visio 2000 Enterprise Edition to document system layouts and other project items with graphics. Visio was very helpful in a recent project for conveying the way the various network servers and hardware were connected.

Next Month
Next month, I'll start digging into the various utilities. I'll cover the tools that help you add users and groups to a server automatically. These tools are useful whenever you need to automate the configuration of a server or system, such as in a Web farm.