Tim Huckaby provides the lowdown on the long-awaited Microsoft .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle. Plus, event highlights, new products, a featured thread from the Windows Web Solutions forums, and a new Instant Poll.

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July 30, 2002—In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY

  • Microsoft Announces and Ships .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle

2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS

  • Free Trial Copies of Windows .NET Server RC1
  • Results from Last Issue's Instant Poll: Tech Support
  • This Issue's Instant Poll: Win.NET Server RC1

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Enter the Windows & .NET Magazine/Transcender Sweepstakes!
  • Energize Your Enterprise at MEC 2002, October 8 through 11, Anaheim, CA

4. HOT RELEASE

  • SMART Watch(TM)—Defending Critical Web Installations

5. RESOURCES

  • Event Highlight: XML Web Services One Conference + Expo
  • Featured Thread: Migrating from IIS 4.0 TO IIS 5.0

6. NEW AND IMPROVED

  • Create Web Services for Legacy Systems
  • Submit Top Product Ideas

7. CONTACT US

  • See this section for a list of ways to contact us.

1. COMMENTARY

  • MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES AND SHIPS .NET FRAMEWORK DATA PROVIDER FOR ORACLE

  • On July 23, Microsoft announced and released the long-awaited Microsoft .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle, which enables easy integration of .NET applications and Oracle databases. Because inability to access Oracle data through .NET applications has been a barrier to adoption of .NET, this release is a major one for Microsoft and its .NET initiative.

    For many companies, .NET adoption has been tough because it requires significant capital investment in new hardware and software. Many companies have enormous investments in their Oracle database platforms and vertical applications. Those companies can't easily sacrifice this investment to adopt .NET. Creating a native Oracle data provider for .NET will give Microsoft a great .NET adoption and integration success. The announcement of the .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle (along with Microsoft's work with Web services standards bodies) goes a long way toward giving credence to Microsoft's publicly stated commitment to industry cooperation and openness.

    "The managed provider is intended to help customers with existing Oracle systems build great applications with Visual Studio .NET," said Sheryl Tullis, product manager for Microsoft SQL Server. "Of course, performance with SQL Server will always be better since it is tightly integrated with Visual Studio .NET, but we want customers to be able to build .NET applications and connect them to information in legacy Oracle databases."

    The features of the new .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle are impressive. The new product delivers a native .NET interface to Oracle, resulting in dramatically improved performance. According to Microsoft, the new data provider improves performance by as much as 200 percent compared with using an OLE DB driver for Oracle.

    The new Oracle provider gives developers full access to data that resides in Oracle databases by offering a complete set of Oracle9i data types and full support for reference cursors and result sets returned by Oracle-stored procedures. The provider is compatible with the Oracle8i release 3 (8.1.7) client or later.

    A particularly interesting element in this story is that Oracle released a .NET data provider a few months back. And Microsoft has publicly stated that it "actively encourage\[s\] this." The Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET) is currently in beta. You can get the beta version at the URL below.
    http://otn.oracle.com/tech/windows/odpnet/content.html

    A few months ago, Oracle provided its own ODBC and OLE DB providers that work with Visual Studio (VS) and ADO. These releases might indicate that Oracle has decided to develop its products to directly support the .NET Framework and .NET development. If so, developers and IT professionals eventually will be able to compare the Microsoft and Oracle providers and decide for themselves which one to use. At the end of the day, both providers work with ADO.NET and the .NET Framework, so choosing between them will be a simple matter of comparing features and performance.

    A Microsoft white paper ("Using .NET Framework Data Provider for Oracle to Improve .NET Application Performance") by Greg Leake summarizes the performance gains of the native Oracle provider for .NET over the OLE DB provider for Oracle. You can find the white paper at the first URL below. You can download the data provider and its associated documentation at the second URL below.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/en-us/dndotnet/html/manprooracperf.asp
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads/sample.asp?url=/msdn-files/027/001/940/msdncompositedoc.xml

    Tim Huckaby, News Editor, timh@interknowlogy.com


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    2. KEEPING UP WITH IIS

  • FREE TRIAL COPIES OF WINDOWS .NET SERVER RC1

  • Microsoft announced last week that customers can obtain Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) Release Candidate 1 (RC1) for free through its Win.NET Server Customer Preview Program (CPP). The trial version of the software will expire 360 days after you install it. The Win.NET Server CPP kit also includes a Win.NET Server Resource CD-ROM, a unique product key required for installation, and access to Web-based documentation and support newsgroups. To learn more about the CPP, visit the Microsoft Web site.
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows.netserver/preview/default.mspx

  • RESULTS FROM LAST ISSUE'S INSTANT POLL: TECH SUPPORT

  • The voting has closed in the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions channel's nonscientific Instant Poll for the question, "Do you provide tech support for your friends' and neighbors' computer systems?" Here are the results (+/-1 percent) from the 116 responses.
    • 47% Yes, gladly.
    • 48% Yes, but I shouldn't have started doing so.
    • 5% No way.

  • THIS ISSUE'S INSTANT POLL: WIN.NET SERVER RC1

  • The next Instant Poll question is, "Do you plan to take Microsoft up on its offer of a free trial copy of Windows .NET Server (Win.NET Server) Release Candidate 1 (RC1)?" Go to the Windows & .NET Magazine Windows Web Solutions home page and submit your vote for a) Yes, I downloaded it as soon as I heard about it, b) Yes, as soon as I have a few minutes to download it, c) Probably, when I have time to play with it, or d) No.
    http://www.windowswebsolutions.com

    3. ANNOUNCEMENTS
    (brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)

  • ENTER THE WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE/TRANSCENDER SWEEPSTAKES!

  • Nothing can help you prepare for certification like Transcender products, and no one can help you master your job like Windows & .NET Magazine. Enter our combined sweepstakes contest, and you could win a Transcender Deluxe MCSE Core Pak (a $569 value) or one of several other great prizes. Sign up today!
    http://www.winnetmag.com/sub.cfm?code=swei202fus

  • ENERGIZE YOUR ENTERPRISE AT MEC 2002, OCTOBER 8 THROUGH 11, ANAHEIM, CA

  • Don't miss the essential Microsoft infrastructure conference where you'll connect with a world of expert information, technical training sessions, best practices, and hands-on labs. Be among the first 1000 to register and receive a free MEC 2002 DVD valued at $695—plus save $300!
    http://www.microsoft.com/corpevents/mec2002

    4. HOT RELEASE

  • SMART WATCH(TM)—DEFENDING CRITICAL WEB INSTALLATIONS

  • It's 4:00 AM and your corporate web site's been hacked. SMART Watch instantly notifies you while restoring web content to its original form. Click below for information and a special Windows Web Solutions subscriber offer!
    http://www.wetstonetech.com/smartwatchpromo.html

    5. RESOURCES

  • EVENT HIGHLIGHT: XML WEB SERVICES ONE CONFERENCE + EXPO

  • August 26 through 30, 2002
    Boston, MA
    http://www.xmlconference.com/boston/

    SIGS/101 Conferences' XML Web Services One Conference + Expo aims to provide experienced software architects with insights and solutions for their enterprise-level development work. Conference tracks include Web Services Standards and Tools, Enterprise Architectures, Programming on the Front-End, Component Integration, .NET Programming, and Tactics and Strategies—management imperatives.

    For other upcoming events, check out the Windows & .NET Magazine

    Events Calendar.
    http://www.winnetmag.net/events

  • FEATURED THREAD: MIGRATING FROM IIS 4.0 TO IIS 5.0

  • Scott is trying to migrate from IIS 4.0 to IIS 5.0. He downloaded the Microsoft migration tool and configured it as the documentation suggests. However, when the tool tries to create the migration archive file at the end of the migration, he gets the error "0x80020009, (from SrcCabinet.SrcCabinet.1)." Can you help? Visit the following URL:
    http://www.windowswebsolutions.com/forums/thread.cfm?cfapp=74&thread_id=110300

    6. NEW AND IMPROVED
    (contributed by Carolyn Mader, products@winnetmag.com)

  • CREATE WEB SERVICES FOR LEGACY SYSTEMS

  • ClientSoft announced that its ClientSoft Tanit Objects (CTO) legacy integration software opens a flowing link between IBM S390/zSeries mainframes and Web application servers. With ITO, developers can quickly create Web services for their company's core CICS transactions to any user or device. CTO uses one of three access methods to create customized snap-ins for the applications server. The snap-ins enable the application server to interact directly with the mainframe without the need for data scraping or extra coding. For pricing, contact ClientSoft at 305-716-1007 or 888-716-1007.
    http://www.clientsoft.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.

    7. CONTACT US
    Here's how to reach us with your comments and questions:

    • ABOUT THE COMMENTARY — timhuck@interknowlogy.com
    • ABOUT THE NEWSLETTER IN GENERAL — bgibbens@winnetmag.com

    (please mention the newsletter name in the subject line)

    • TECHNICAL QUESTIONS — http://www.winnetmag.net/forums
    • PRODUCT NEWS — products@winnetmag.com
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      Customer Support — wwsupdate@winnetmag.com
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