All the Goodies from TechEd
I was at TechEd in Orlando last week and a whole bunch of new stuff
was announced, including the Best of Show Awards by Windows 2000
Magazine. Here is a roundup of a bunch of short items:
Next Generation Web Services
1) Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the
new MS vision on web services (called Next Generation Web Services
and here is another ugly acronym: NGWS). Bill pledged $2 Billion
to developers to help build it.
NGWS is the way MS defines how Windows delivers and integrates
services over the Internet and Web specifically. MS uses W2K as
the server and provides all the development tools you need. These
tools are the SOAP toolkit for Visual Studio 6.0. SOAP stands for
Simple Object Access Protocol. It's simply a set of wizards to
turn existing apps that were written with Visual Studio into
Web services utilizing XML extension.
Bill also talked about BizTalk. This is a drag-and-drop tool to
help visualize interactions between apps at high level and build
complete business process solutions. Another interesting part they
came out with was a Rapid Application Development tool for Visual
Studio. This speeds up and simplifies building complex server-
side apps and Web services.
MS Moves Into Firewall Market
Also at TechEd, Microsoft launched ISA Server 2000 Beta. The beast
is at the same time a multilevel firewall and a high-performance
web-caching server. ISA stands for 'Internet Security and Acceleration
Server' A few years ago, MS introduced its Proxy Server and has
been modestly present in the web security segment, but this is a
major new incursion in this field. Similar to the MS proxy, the
ISA 2000 has a bunch of APIs so that third party vendors can add
things to it, like content security, anti-virus software, or
management and reporting tools.
They told us ISA Server will not be released until late this year,
but quite a few third party add-ons were already announced by names
like Content Technologies, NetGuard, NetIQ, surfControl, Trend Micro
and WebTrends. I'm sure quite a few others will follow. It will
very likely become a whole category of tools in itself, similar to the
industries that sprouted up for Exchange and SQL. You can download
the 8.3MB beta code at
NetIQ announces AppAnalyzer for MS Exchange
They demo'd their new web-based reporting, analysis and chargeback
tool for Exchange Admins that helps you to understand and monitor
Exchange usage. AppAnalyzer for Exchange gets you pretty complete
data about Exchange Servers across your enterprise, like message
traffic analysis, message delivery times, historical and current
mailbox and public folder storage data and message content notification.
InstallShield and WinInstall fight deployment battle
Both products came out with new versions at TechEd. InstallShield
V6.2 touts the industry's first 'One-Click Installation Experience'.
Take that with a grain of salt, but the concept looks good. The
latest flavor combines the multiple steps of first downloading from
the Web, next installing and then launching the app into one. The
new 'smart download' feature cuts down on bandwidth by checking
the client machine for existing DLL's and only pulls the files
down needed to run the app. No rocket science but pretty clever.
Veritas' WinINSTALL 2000 was announced at the same time. This is
a new version of their automated software-distribution tool you
can use to push or pull apps to a mixed set of OS'es all from one
console. You can choose from a bunch of different distribution
methods for the MS Windows Installer packages so that you can
migrate from PS workstations to W2K. This product is the 'full
feature' version of the bare bones freebie that is included in W2K.
Sybari previews Antigen for Exchange 2000 (E2K)
At TechEd, Sybari gave attendees an early look at their upcoming
version for E2K. Antigen has a unique scanning technology that
accesses, scans and manages incoming email and data before it
reaches Exchange itself. It does the scans in memory so that
takes less resources. BTW, Sunbelt runs this puppy in house.
And who were the Best of Show Winners?
Windows 2000 Magazine had 3 categories for their Best of Show
Awards: W2K, Exchange and SQL. The tools were selected for
their innovation, were unique and really made the life of a
system admin easier. Mike Otey made the announcement and a
whole bunch of software developers were there anxiously waiting
to see if they were the lucky ones. Out of about thirty finalists,
six winners were chosen, two in each category.
1) GeoCluster from NSI Software:
- Extends MS cluster nodes as far as you want.
2) RoboER from Heroix:
- Reach and repair Windows NT/2000 systems, anywhere, anytime
1) KnowledgeMail from Tacit Knowledge Systems
- Innovative way to manage corporate knowledge
2) Unity Connection from Active Voice Corp
- Control over voice, fax and email messages from anywhere
1) ProClarity from Knosys
- Intuitive data visualization and analytical application
2) cLAN from Giganet
- Use commodity servers to build low cost, high performance clusters