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March 11, 2003--In this issue:
1. COMMENTARY - Microsoft Adds Rights Management to Email
2. ANNOUNCEMENT - Start Your Spring Training with Windows & .NET Magazine Web Seminars!
3. RESOURCE - Tip: Converting Messages to Plain Text
4. NEW AND IMPROVED - Download News to Outlook Folders
5. CONTACT US See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
* MICROSOFT ADDS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT TO EMAIL
With Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Office 2003 (the new official name of the next Office version), Microsoft will deliver a mechanism to control what happens to email messages after you send them. Until now, organizations and users who wanted to prevent messages from being forwarded, keep recipients from printing messages, or make messages unavailable after a certain period of time have needed to rely on third-party tools and services such as Authentica's MailRecall ( http://www.authentica.com ), Omniva Policy Systems' Policy Manager ( http://www.omniva.com ), ReadNotify ( http://www.readnotify.com ), and Sigaba ( http://www.sigaba.com ). Citing its Trustworthy Computing initiative and the need to protect the privacy of digital information, Microsoft has stepped into this product area, announcing that a new technology, Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), will be available in broad beta in second quarter 2003.
Microsoft is using Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) to build RMS as an ASP.NET Web service add-on for Windows 2003. According to the XrML.org Web site ( http://www.xrml.org ), Sony, Zinio Systems, OverDrive, Integrated Management Concepts (IMC), DMDsecure, and Contents Works are other early adopters planning to incorporate XrML into their products.
RMS will apply not just to email messages but also to Web portal content and company spreadsheets and other documents. An RMS-enabled application, such as Office 2003, will provide users a mechanism to set rights on a document or email message and encrypt the content. The application will obtain a signed license from the RMS server that will contain information about how the originator wants the information used. The application will then distribute the license with the file or message. When the recipient opens the file in an RMS-enabled application, that program will send the license and the recipient's credentials to the RMS server and will request a user license. After the RMS server validates the credentials and returns a user license, the application will display the document or message, enforcing whatever rights policies the originator set.
Most of the technical details, such as keys and licenses, will be transparent to the end user. RMS will support the definition of standard intra-enterprise policy templates, such as "company confidential" or "attorney-client privilege" templates. Logging will be able to track when the RMS server grants or denies license requests.
RMS-enabled document-authoring programs will also create an HTML rendition (using the .rmh file extension) of rights-managed documents and will distribute the .rmh version with the original file and rights license. Microsoft will also offer a rights-management update for Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) running on Windows 98 Second Edition (Win98SE) or later, to let users work with rights-limited documents in the browser.
Although Microsoft intends RMS to operate primarily inside an enterprise, it will work outside the enterprise in at least some cases. Rights policies will travel with documents, so they'll remain secure even when transported outside the organization.
Developers should watch for the second-quarter release of two software development kits (SDKs), client and server, that will let developers build rights management into their solutions. On the server side, content management servers, portals, and other servers will be able to use Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) to communicate with the Web services on the RMS server, so those servers won't necessarily need to be Windows servers.
"Windows Adds Rights Management Protection for Enterprise Information" http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/rm
* START YOUR SPRING TRAINING WITH WINDOWS & .NET MAGAZINE WEB SEMINARS! March is a great time to strengthen your knowledge of security and Active Directory. Register today for one of our Web seminars, and find out what our experts know that could be saving you hours of time and your company bundles of money. Sign up now! http://www.winnetmag.com/seminars
* TIP: CONVERTING MESSAGES TO PLAIN TEXT
Q: I'm worried about viruses in HTML-format messages. Can I make Exchange Server or Outlook convert all incoming messages to plain text?
A: Many people must have requested this feature because Microsoft has added a registry entry in Office XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) that makes Outlook show all messages as plain text. Outlook still stores the HTML or Rich Text Format (RTF) content in the message (much the way Outlook doesn't delete blocked unsafe attachments but maintains the information in the message) but doesn't use the formatting when displaying the message. The Microsoft article "OL2002: Users Can Read Nonsecure E-mail as Plain Text" at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307594 explains how to implement this new feature.
See the Exchange & Outlook Administrator Web site for more great tips from Sue Mosher. http://www.exchangeadmin.com
* DOWNLOAD NEWS TO OUTLOOK FOLDERS Reinacker & Associates released NewsGator, a news aggregator for Outlook that retrieves news from the sources you subscribe to and places it in designated Outlook folders, in which you can organize the news by source, date, or any other Outlook field. You can use one folder or create a folder hierarchy to save your news. NewsGator requires Outlook 2000 or later. Pricing is $29 per copy. Contact Reinacker & Associates at [email protected] http://www.newsgator.com
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