.NET UPDATE, April 3, 2003


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April 3, 2003--In this issue:

1. COMMENTARY - Windows 2003 Ushers in a New Era for .NET

2. DOT-TECH PERSPECTIVES - Real-Life .NET: Setting Up UDDI on a Windows 2003 Computer

3. ANNOUNCEMENTS - Microsoft ASP.NET Connections: Win a Harley Motorcycle - Get the eBook That Will Help You Get Certified!

4. NEW AND IMPROVED - Create Secure .NET Applications - Examine Slow-Running .NET Code

5. CONTACT US - See this section for a list of ways to contact us.




(contributed by Paul Thurrott, news editor, [email protected])

* WINDOWS 2003 USHERS IN A NEW ERA FOR .NET After 3 years of development, last week Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 to manufacturing, ushering in a new era for the company's .NET initiative. With this release, Microsoft for the first time has permanently and inexorably linked its Web services technology to one of its core platforms. The link between Windows 2003 and .NET was more obvious earlier in the development cycle: The company has changed the name of this product several times, and two of the names--Windows .NET Server and Windows .NET Server 2003--highlighted the connection between .NET and the Windows OS.

But don't take the removal of .NET from the product's name to mean that .NET is any less important to this product's success. Microsoft decided 2 months ago to change its .NET branding strategy (see ".NET: What's in a Name?" at the URL below) to be more consistent across all its products, including .NET-compatible products from third parties. Here are some of the ways in which the .NET initiative technologies are important to Windows 2003. http://www.winnetmag.com/windowsserver2003/index.cfm?articleid=38048

Windows Server 2003 Is the .NET Delivery Vehicle The .NET vision relies on several important components, including .NET-compatible clients such as Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), Windows XP, and Windows CE .NET (formerly code-named Talisker); .NET Web services, which you can write in a variety of programming languages; and a server product, Windows 2003, which you can use to deploy and host those Web services. You can, of course, use earlier Windows server versions, primarily Windows 2000, to deploy and host XML Web services. But Windows 2003 ships .NET-ready out of the box and is a known entity for developers and administrators; with previous versions, you'd have to ensure that the proper Windows .NET Framework version was installed before targeting a specific server. Furthermore, Microsoft will phase in a new generation of .NET-enabled server products during the next several months, and these products run (or run best) on Windows 2003.

Windows 2003 Is Integrated with .NET Passport Windows 2003 integrates the .NET distributed user authentication scheme, .NET Passport. So, administrators can now securely authenticate users who access their services over the Internet by using a proven and fairly reliable service that consumers have used for years.

Windows 2003 Is a Better Development Platform As the hosting and deployment platform for .NET applications and Web services, Windows 2003 is the most convenient platform that developers can target. With .NET-enabled development tools such as Visual Studio .NET 2003 (which ships, not coincidentally, on the same day as Windows 2003), developers can now easily create next-generation Web services that integrate directly with the server. Also, .NET services can take advantage of a simple drag-and-drop installation feature that bypasses previously complicated installation and deployment methods, which often involved complex command-line scripting or registry editing.

Windows 2003 Makes .NET Discoverable Thanks to integration with a new standards-based technology called Enterprise Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services, Windows 2003-hosted Web services can broadcast their availability and capabilities to other Web services that run locally in an internal network or globally on the Internet.

Windows 2003 Includes the Best IIS Version Yet Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, the Windows 2003 application and Web server, is the best version of IIS. IIS 6.0 ships in a locked-down mode that makes it more secure than earlier versions. IIS 6.0 also offers tremendous performance and reliability improvements over previous versions, with features such as process isolation and better scaling on multiprocessor machines and Web farms. You can use IIS 6.0 to deploy .NET applications that use technologies such as ASP.NET and ADO.NET. Although you can run ASP.NET on Win2K, ASP.NET is integrated with IIS 6.0 and is therefore faster and more reliable on this platform.

Much of the promise of the .NET initiative will come to fruition when Microsoft and its third-party developers create innovative products and services that run on Windows 2003. But delivering the platform is a crucial first step in making a .NET-enabled future happen. Is Windows 2003 a secure, reliable, and performance-oriented update to Win2K that promises, finally, to usher in the .NET era? Or are we just spinning our wheels again, waiting for a .NET tidal wave to consume the computer industry? Let me know what you think.


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(contributed by Christa Anderson, [email protected])

* REAL-LIFE .NET: SETTING UP UDDI ON A WINDOWS 2003 COMPUTER Now that Microsoft has released Windows Server 2003 to manufacturing, let's talk about Enterprise Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) Services, which comes with the OS, and the decisions you need to make when setting up the service. Enterprise UDDI Services is a component of Windows 2003 that you can use to host an internal catalog of Web services for developers and for applications to use at runtime.

You can install the service on Windows 2003, Standard Edition or Windows 2003, Enterprise Edition (Enterprise UDDI Services is not part of Windows XP). Windows 2003, Enterprise Edition has a couple of options that Windows 2003, Standard Edition doesn't, as I explain later. Enterprise UDDI Services is not installed by default, and it depends on Microsoft IIS to run. If you install Enterprise UDDI Services, some pieces of IIS will be installed to support it: Common Files, IIS Manager, and the World Wide Web Service component, which has a subcomponent that's also called World Wide Web Service.

Installing Enterprise UDDI Services is fairly simple for anyone who's installed a Windows component before--you install it from the Control Panel Add/Remove Programs applet just as you would Microsoft Remote Installation Services (RIS), IIS, or any other optional component. The service has three components: the administration console, the database components (if you're installing the database that backs Enterprise UDDI services locally and don't already have Microsoft SQL Server Desktop Engine--MSDE--installed), and the Web server components.

During installation, you need to choose a database type; the supported options are MSDE or SQL Server. You don't need to add any extra software if you choose MSDE, and you don't need additional licensing to connect to an MSDE database. Connecting to a SQL Server database is only an option if a client for a SQL Server database is already installed on that computer. You can change the database location after installing Enterprise UDDI Services by editing the server's properties from the UDDI administrative console.

You also need to decide whether to implement the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security protocol. Using SSL tightens your application's security but adds pain and expense because you must purchase and set up a certificate from a provider such as Thawte (http://www.thawte.com). However, if you've already got a certificate set up for secure Web access on the local computer, you don't need another one specifically for UDDI.

If you're installing Enterprise UDDI Services on a server running Windows 2003, Enterprise Edition, the next step is choosing the location of the database and its components: the system data files, the core data files, the journal, the staging data file, and the transaction log. By default, these files go into the \uddi subdirectory to \inetpub on the local server. Only Windows 2003, Enterprise Edition supports distributed mode--all Windows 2003, Standard Edition servers must maintain separate databases.

Next, you need to decide whether Enterprise UDDI Services should run as a network service (the default option) or use a specific domain account. Then, you choose the name of the site (e.g., UDDISite). More than one server can be in the site, so use a name that's different from your server names.

Finally, choose whether you want components in the UDDI registry to self-register or you want to manually register components. If you have only one server, then leave this box checked. Do not check it on more than one server, however, or you'll have servers overwriting information.

At this point, you've set up Enterprise UDDI Services on the server. You're now ready to add Web services and components to the UDDI registry.



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(contributed by Carolyn Mader, [email protected])

* CREATE SECURE .NET APPLICATIONS LearnKey announced security training for developers who create .NET applications. The .NET Security for Developers Part 1 course helps developers understand how to create and digitally sign assemblies, administer security policy by using visual and command-line tools, validate data and handle errors, choose the correct permission settings for code, and manage Windows security. The course consists of five sessions and is 15 hours in length. The CD-ROM with a multiple-user license costs $1235. Contact LearnKey at 800-865-0165. http://www.learnkey.com

* EXAMINE SLOW-RUNNING .NET CODE Red Gate Software released ANTS Profiler, software that lets developers examine slow code in any .NET application to quickly pinpoint performance problems. You can use ANTS Profiler to find out which third-party code libraries are causing .NET applications to run slowly and to look at individual lines of code. ANTS Profiler costs $195. Contact Red Gate Software at 866-733-4283 or [email protected] http://www.red-gate.com 5.


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