What's New in IIS 3.0

In addition to Active Server Pages (ASP), Microsoft provides other new features in Internet Information Server (IIS) 3.0, such as a search engine, a delivery system for multimedia content, enhanced security, and tools for log analysis and reporting. These added capabilities provide comprehensive support for Windows NT-based Web servers.

You can download IIS 3.0 from Microsoft's Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/iis, or you can get it as part of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for NT Server. IIS 3.0 requires that you first install both NT Server 4.0 and IIS 2.0. Here's a quick overview of IIS 3.0's new features. (For a preview of the next version of IIS, see T.J. Harty, "IIS K2 Alpha," February 1997.)

Microsoft Index Server 1.1
Index Server 1.1, a minor update to Microsoft's Tripoli search engine release last year, provides multilanguage, full-text indexing and querying of documents in any format. Index Server ships with built-in support for HTML, text, and Microsoft Office documents, but you can extend it to handle custom document types and custom content indexing. After you install it, Index Server automatically builds a complete index of the Web server; sample query forms provide easy searching from any Web browser. Taking advantage of NT's file notification, Index Server automatically updates the content index whenever a file is added, deleted, or changed on the server.

Microsoft NetShow
NetShow provides live multicasting of audio and on-demand streaming of stored audio, illustrated audio (audio synchronized with images), and video. Under the hood, NetShow uses IP multicasting and Real Time Protocol (RTP) to communicate between Multicast Backbone (MBone)-compatible applications. NetShow includes support for WAV, AVI, QuickTime, PowerPoint, JPEG, GIF, and URL formats.

SSL/PCT Security
IIS 3.0 now provides client authentication through digital certificates, handled using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 3.0 and Private Communications Technology (PCT) 1.0. When requested by the server, client machines must present digital certificates granted by a third-party certificate authority. You can easily identify secure URLs because they start with https://, instead of the familiar http://.

Microsoft FrontPage 97 Server Extensions
FrontPage 97 Server Extensions for IIS consists of server components and APIs that applications integrating with IIS can employ. Microsoft upgraded the extensions from Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to ISAPI for greater performance. The extensions support NT secure authorization and administration using SSL.

Java Virtual Machine
Microsoft includes its high-performance Java Virtual Machine (VM) with IIS 3.0. The Java VM lets you run Java on the server.

Crystal Reports
Microsoft also bundles a version of the popular third-party Crystal Reports with IIS 3.0. This tool lets system administrators build Web-based analysis reports based on IIS logs.

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