Microsoft prepares new Web server

Microsoft will release the first beta for Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 (code-named "K2") in June, along with new versions of Index Server and Proxy Server. K2 will make it easier to host multiple Web sites on a single server and will allow each site on the server to share a single IP address or use multiple IP addresses with multiple Network Interface Cards (NICs). In order to access multiple sites at a single IP address, the browser client must support HTTP 1.1--both Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Communicator 4.0 will support this feature.

K2 also features "process isolation" so that each server application can run as its own process. In the current version of IIS, server apps run within the process space of the Web server. K2 will also add LDAP support and digital certificates so that users can be tracked more easily. A new set of management functions has been consolidated into the new Microsoft Management Console (MMC, code-named "Slate"), a separate shell that hosts these applets. Improved counters will allow K2 administrators to monitor site performance and other data, such as login attempts and visitor counts.

Active Server Pages (ASP), a component of IIS, will be updated in K2 so that developers can embed scripts in an applet or ActiveX control. Currently, only HTML can be embedded in these components. The Index Server upgrade will feature ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) and OLE-DB support and distributed indexing. The new version of Proxy Server will support IE 4's Active Desktop push technology

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