Microsoft Mobile Information 2001 Server, Part 3

Over the past few weeks, I've given you an overview of Microsoft's Mobile Information 2001 Server (MMIS) and Microsoft's Mobility Solutions offering. In those installments of Mobile & Wireless UPDATE, I described the MMIS components as well as the recommended architecture and security considerations. If you'd like to review parts 1 and 2, check out the Related Articles box on the right.

This week, I want to continue to discuss MMIS by reviewing the steps for proper implementation. Above all, planning is the key to a successful MMIS implementation. So make sure you understand all the pieces to create an implementation plan and get started with a pilot project.

I've outlined the main steps for implementing MMIS below. Duration and complexity of the implementation can vary, depending on the number of users, location of regional offices, and your organization's security policies.

  1. Create an implementation plan—An essential step you must perform before you begin applying MMIS is to create an implementation plan that outlines the steps, configuration, and risks.
  2. Configure security—Depending on your security policy, you need to implement some security mechanisms. For data-browse encryption, install Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates in IIS on the MMIS machine. For notification and enhanced internal security, create an IP Security (IPSec) connection among the MMIS Enterprise (MMIS-EE) and MMIS Carrier (MMIS-CE) systems and other servers.
  3. Update the Active Directory (AD) schema—The first step of MMIS installation is to use Forest Prep to update the AD schema. This step adds the necessary AD features for operating MMIS as well as system and user configuration information.
  4. Update the domain—After you update the AD schema, use Domain Prep to update the domain. This step adds the necessary groups and permissions to support MMIS operations.
  5. Install the core MMIS components—After you prepare the AD schema and domain, install MMIS on the target machine. This step creates all the core components and application and administration tools within the MMIS platform.
  6. Install the MMIS Exchange 2000 Event Source—If you're deploying MMIS in an Exchange 2000 Server environment, install the Event Source feature on the Exchange 2000 server. This step adds the necessary components for monitoring user accounts and sending notifications.
  7. Add carrier connectors—To send notifications to users on different wireless carrier networks, add carrier connectors for each network (e.g., SprintPCS, AT&T Wireless, VoiceStream). If an MMIS-CE service is available on your network, use an HTTP connector; otherwise, the SMTP connector is the default connector required.
  8. Configure Intranet Browse applications—Before you can use Intranet Browse applications from MMIS, you must set up and enable the applications. You can also use the MMIS administration tools to configure individual application features (e.g., autologon timeout).
  9. Enable users—To give users wireless access to Microsoft Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) and other network resources, you must use the Wireless Mobility tab in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) AD Users and Computers snap-in to enable each user. You can enable users through the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), Server ActiveSync access, or both. After you select the appropriate protocol or service, add the users' mobile and wireless devices (e.g., cell phones, pagers) and select the appropriate device adapters and carrier connectors.
  10. Enable user self-preferencing—After you set up a user with the proper access in MMIS, the user can go to the MMIS user administration site at http://<mmisserver>/airweb to establish his or her preferences. The user can then access applications from various WAP-enabled devices (e.g., cell phones) and Server ActiveSync-enabled devices (e.g., Pocket PC 2002 handhelds).
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