TechNet Flash - Volume 10, Issue 1: January 9, 2008

Note from the Editor

Greetings New TechNet Flash Subscriber,

It’s a new year and that can only mean one thing here in Redmond: We’re getting ready to launch some core products with “2008” in their names. For IT professionals, we’re mainly talking about Windows Server 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to catch up on the changes in functionality between Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008. Or discover the new features first-hand with the Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate evaluation. One of the cool new capabilities in the upcoming release is the Hyper-V technology for creating and managing a virtualized server computing environment. And if you are looking to implement virtual machines, don’t miss TechNet Magazine’sguide to setting up Virtual Machine Manager.

Getting ready for the new release of SQL Server? Check out the free introductory SQL Server 2008 learning materials from Microsoft Learning. You can also go hands-on with the software by downloading the November CTP of SQL Server 2008.

Finally, take a look at some of the cool new stuff from Microsoft with my semi-regular Fun Stuff Update:

The First-Ever Rechargeable Backlit Keyboard
The Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 is a rechargeable keyboard and mouse for Windows Vista and PC entertainment. Control PC media from your desk, your lap, your couch, or another creative location of your choosing.

Windows Home Server Is Here
Windows Home Server brings it all together in a central hub, connecting your home PCs. Plus, get a cool list of free, published community add-ins that you can use to customize your Windows Home Server experience.

Extras for Windows Media Player
Check out cool stuff including skins, new visual effects, and plug-ins.

New and Updated Windows Live Software and Services
Check out the new Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and more.

Fingerprint Reader
Simply place your finger on the receiver whenever a password or username is required.

Happy New Year and thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

Update Your Selected Topics

Ensure that the content most relevant to you is presented in this section.

Test Drive Windows Server 2008

The Windows Server 2008 test drive allows you to try the latest release from Microsoft instantly. By simply using your Web browser to log on to our test-drive environment, you will be able to experience Windows Server 2008 first-hand. You can explore the product on your own, or follow along with a number of guided exercises and videos.

Building High-Availability Infrastructures with Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering

January 21, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time
Attend this webcast to hear how the completely redesigned advanced clustering capabilities in Windows Server 2008 Enterprise offer high availability in case of a hardware failure. We give you an overview of the new and improved clustering architecture and describe new tools migration strategies.

High Availability with Hyper-V

January 30, 9:30 - 11:00 AM Pacific Time
Hyper-V, previously code-named “Viridian,” is a hypervisor-based technology that is a key feature of Windows Server 2008. It is part of Microsoft's ongoing effort to provide our customers and partners with the best operating system platform for virtualization. In this webcast, learn how you can make Hyper-V highly available with Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering.

Improving Network Compliance with Windows Server 2008 Network Access Protection

Network Access Protection (NAP) is a policy enforcement platform built into Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 that allows you to better protect your private network by enforcing compliance with computer health requirements. Use the resources in this learning path to set up NAP so you can create customized policies and limit access for unhealthy devices.

Overview Series: How to Pilot Windows Vista

This feature article from the Windows Vista Springboard Series provides an overview of key pilot program elements such as scope definition, environment assessment, testing, user feedback collection, and user training.

Microsoft IT Best Practices Revealed for Deploying Windows Vista, the 2007 Office System, and Exchange Server 2007

Take advantage of Microsoft IT lessons learned for your own unique deployments through Microsoft IT Showcase.

Microsoft Virtualization Experts Podcast Series

Tune into DABCC Radio’s Microsoft Virtualization Experts Podcast Series and hear Douglas Brown’s interviews with key Microsoft decision and strategy makers responsible for driving the company’s virtualization solutions. You’ll hear from experts such as, Eric Traut, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, and Mike Neil, General Manager of Virtualization Strategy, Windows Server Division.

Webcast: Preparing Data for Use with SQL Server Data Mining (Level 200)

January 10, 8:00 - 9:00 AM Pacific Time
Many users who struggle with data mining do not realize that their problems start with badly prepared data. This webcast is a very practical introduction to some of the important issues, including finding the right data, handling missing values, identifying and fixing overloaded fields, and deriving useful variables.

Webcast: Mining for Quality: Apply Adaptive Data Quality with SQL Server Data Mining (Level 200)

January 17, 8:00 - 9:00 AM Pacific Time
You are probably aware that Microsoft SQL Server includes some useful data quality tools such as Fuzzy Grouping or Fuzzy Lookup. However, there is one tool you may have overlooked: SQL Server Data Mining. When used operationally, SQL Server Data Mining is extremely useful for finding data that lies outside the boundaries of known good data, and it finds these outliers inductively rather than relying on exhaustively hard-coded rules.

TechNet Virtual Lab: Learn How to Build Occasionally Connected Applications with SQL Server 2008

Explore how you can build offline smart-client applications in a RAD way that synchronizes backend database with a local Microsoft SQL Server Compact 3.5.

Extranet Collaboration Toolkit for SharePoint Solution Accelerator

Does your organization need tools to collaborate securely with others across the Internet? Microsoft's newest Solution Accelerator provides tools and guidance to easily and securely collaborate with team members from different organizations --across the Internet. Join the beta program and get an early look.

Learn How to Customize Your SharePoint Server 2007 Sites

Get help with features such as design, workflows, forms, document management, and business intelligence.

How Microsoft IT Implemented New Storage Designs for Exchange Server 2007

January 22, 9:30 AM Pacific Time
In this webcast, find out how Microsoft IT was able to take advantage of Cluster Continuous Replication in new mailbox server designs based on direct attached storage.

Online Services Help Simplify Software Inventory

Software asset management is an essential task for every business, large or small. But with the amount of software businesses now purchase and deploy, getting a handle on those assets can feel next to impossible. Find out how the new Asset Inventory Service from Microsoft can help.

Improved VHD Trial Image for Essentials 2007

Based on partner and customer feedback, we’ve re-released the Trial VHD. The new Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) image can be easily added into a customer’s Active Directory environment to evaluate on all or a portion of the desktops and servers. The latest quick fix engineering (QFE) releases have been applied and a new quick setup guide has been created to assist customers in the evaluation and removal of software at the end of the period.

Real Control with Virtual Machine Manager 2007

Virtualization allows organizations to consolidate resources and save money. But as you begin to implement increasing numbers of virtual machines, you'll want a convenient way to manage them. Here's a guide to setting up Virtual Machine Manager and using it to perform administrative tasks from a centralized interface.

Better Backups with Data Protection Manager 2007

The latest version of Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager 2007 offers many new features, delivering a powerful and flexible solution for managing your backups. Here's an overview of how Data Protection Manager 2007 can protect everything from Exchange Server and SQL Server to branch offices and SharePoint sites.

Try the New Forefront Security for Exchange Server SP1 Trial Download

Now with support for Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 SP1 and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server SP1 helps provide comprehensive protection for Exchange Server 2007 environments through the integration of multiple industry-leading antivirus scan engines, content filtering, and enhanced manageability. Customers seeking to protect Exchange Server 2003 and Exchange 2000 Server environments can get started now by downloading the new Antigen 9.0 SP1 trial software.

Try the New Forefront Server Security Management Console

With the new Microsoft Forefront Server Security Management Console, administrators can easily manage Forefront Security for Exchange Server, Forefront Security for SharePoint, and Microsoft Antigen, providing a Web-based console to centralize configuration and operation, automate the download and distribution of signature and scan engine updates, and generate comprehensive reports. The trial software is now available in 11 languages.

Download the Microsoft Forefront Client Security Health Management Pack for Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 SP1

The Microsoft Forefront Client Security Management Pack provides enterprisewide monitoring for your Forefront Client Security environment. In addition to real-time event monitoring, it provides automated and customizable response capabilities to allow you to immediately respond to critical performance, health, or capacity-related issues.

Webcast: Microsoft Office Interoperability with SAP (Level 200)

January 10, 9:30 - 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Join this webcast to learn how to integrate Microsoft Office applications such as Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007, Office Project Professional 2007, and Office Visio 2007 with SAP. We start with an overview of the key design principles and detail the guidelines and best practices for integrating these applications with SAP. We show you how to create front-end Web services to connect to SAP.

Does Your Infrastructure Support Mobility?

You don’t have to create a new infrastructure to give mobile devices access to corporate data and business and productivity applications. Here is what you need to think about extending your existing IT infrastructure for mobility. Read this Mobility Strategy article.

Webcast: Driving Business Performance with Microsoft Business Intelligence (Level 200)

January 14, 9:30 - 10:30 AM Pacific Time
Attend this webcast to understand how Microsoft is challenging our customers to "think bigger" about business intelligence, move beyond the rigid tools and applications they are using today, and use our integrated solution of Microsoft Office Business Applications, Office SharePoint Server 2007, SQL Server, and Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 to help individuals, teams, and organizations reach their full potential.

Webcast: Application Platform: Getting the Right Build Management Process in Place (Level 200)

January 10, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
This webcast helps you recognize inefficiencies and issues related to suboptimal build management processes, and it helps you understand how investing in your build management can help your development team.

Webcast: Application Platform: Branching and Merging: Which Approach Is Right for You (Level 200)

January 17, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Software configuration management (SCM) is often one of the first areas implemented in an application lifecycle management (ALM) road map. The secret to success is to critically examine the business objectives behind your SCM, and then build a process that is customized to your business. In this webcast, we provide a high-level understanding of the different approaches that can be taken for branching and merging.

Webcast: Using KPIs to Streamline Development (Level 200)

January 11, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific Time
One of the main benefits of moving to application lifecycle management (ALM) with an integrated (rather than ad hoc) technology set to support your process is the visibility you get into the lifecycle. In this webcast, we explore common key performance indicators (KPIs), using Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server illustratively, and how to interpret them individually and in combination.

HPCPAL Jumpstart

You are invited to participate in our HPCPAL Jumpstart technical training series for IT pros and developers. These are one-day immersion style events that can help you get the technical information you require to start deploying and developing HPC solutions using Windows HPC Server 2008.

Webcast: Turbo-Charging Time Critical Applications with ASPEED Software and HPC on Windows Platform

January 23, 8:30 - 9:30 AM Pacific Time
Whether you write your own programs or are an ISV, an in-house application developer, or an integrator, find out how you can speed up your time-sensitive applications, function libraries and Excel VBA and C/C++ UDFs using ASPEED and WCCS.

Download Microsoft Silverlight for Free Today

Leading Web sites around the world are using Silverlight to add cool new interactivity and media features. Download to start enjoying it today.

Technology Wizards (TW-SBS)

Join TW-SBS on January 9 for its monthly meeting.

Iowa .NET User Group (IADNUG)

Join IADNUG on January 9 for its monthly meeting.

AZ SQL Server User Group (AZSSUG)

Join AZSSUG on January 9 for its monthly meeting.

Lexington Microsoft User Group (LexMUG)

Join LexMUG on January 9 for its monthly meeting.

Windows Networking Solutions Users Group (WiNSUG)

Join WiNSUG on January 10 for its monthly meeting.

Information Technology Professionals of South Carolina (ITPSC)

Join ITPSC on January 15 for its monthly meeting.

NPA - Orange County Chapter (NPA)

Join NPA on January 16 for its monthly meeting.

West Sound Technology Professionals Association (WSTPA)

Join WSTPA on January 17 for its monthly meeting.

ISSA - Sacramento Valley Chapter (ISSA-SVC)

Join ISSA-SVC on January 17 for its monthly meeting.

New England SQL Server Users Group (NESQL)

Join NESQL on January 23 for its monthly meeting.

Evaluation Center Updates

Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 Is Now Available for Download

Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 is a top-down portfolio management solution that helps your organization achieve its potential by identifying, selecting, and delivering a set of investments that best align with your business strategy. When you download the 180-day trial software, you're automatically registered to receive valuable resources delivered throughout the evaluation period.

Download Office SharePoint Server 2007

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability. In addition, Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight.

Download the SQL Server 2008 November CTP

SQL Server 2008 is a secure, reliable, and scalable platform for your business-critical applications that reduces the time and cost of managing any type of data. SQL Server 2008 simplifies development of data-driven applications, while delivering the right information to all users, anywhere.

Scripting for IT Pros

The Scripting Guys Are Looking for Some Friends

The Scripting Guys recently started a new group on Facebook, and we’re hoping to attract as many new friends (and as many new group members) as we can. If you already have a Facebook account, simply search for scripting guys and join the group. If you don’t have a Facebook account (they’re free, by the way), click the above link for information on how to obtain an account as well as instructions on how to join the group.

Hey Scripting Guy...

How Can I Remove Group Members with User Accounts that Reside in a Specific OU?

How Can I Remove Duplicate Values From a Pair of Text Files?

How Can I Determine If Any of the Files in a Folder Have Been Modified in the Past 90 Days?

See more Scripting Tips

See previous comics in the TechNet Flash Web-based archive.

Support and Troubleshooting

How-to Articles 

How to register Microsoft Filter Pack with SharePoint Server 2007 and with Search Server 2008

How to troubleshoot common errors that occur when you run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard on a computer that is running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or SharePoint Server 2007


FIX: Error messages when you run a SQL Server 2005 Integration Services package after you install Cumulative Update 2 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2: "Data conversion failed" and "SSIS Error Code DTS_E_INDUCEDTRANSFORMFAILUREONERROR"

FIX: Error message on a Windows Vista-based computer when you try to query data from a column of the XML data type or from a variable of the XML data type in a SQL Server 2005: "Unexpected end of file has occurred"

Knowledge Base Articles

Internet Explorer 6 crashes after you install security update 942615 on a computer that is running Windows XP Service Pack 2

An update that improves the performance, responsiveness, and reliability of Windows Vista is available

See a selection of new Knowledge Base articles on the TechNet Web site. KB articles feature an Article Translations box in the right column. You can select a language from the drop-down list and read the article in the selected language.

Also available via RSS

Download the New Microsoft Assessment and Planning Tool and Get Started with Server Migration Projects

With the new Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool, you have the ability to conduct network-wide assessment and determine the readiness for migration to products like Windows Server 2008, Windows Server Virtualization, Microsoft Application Virtualization, Terminal Services, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, Windows Vista, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system.

Download Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate

The Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate is available for download through Microsoft Connect and feedback so far has been very positive. Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 is all about making Operations Manager easier to support, easier to use, and easier to deploy. This Release Candidate is supported by Microsoft Support and there will be an upgrade from this Release Candidate to the full release to manufacturing (RTM) version of Service Pack 1 when that version is available. Once on the System Center Operations and Service Management site on Connect, register for the Operations Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 Release Candidate to download.

Upcoming Webcasts

Microsoft Webcast: Concurrent Deployment of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (Level 100)

January 11, 10:00 - 11:00 AM Pacific Time
In this webcast, we look at the advantages of an infrastructure based on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, discuss the processes and tools to make the adoption process smoother, and provide prescriptive guidance and best practices.

Failover Clustering 101

January 22, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time
Are you new to clustering? Do you want to build a highly available infrastructure but don’t know where to start. Join us for this webcast to learn the basics of building a highly available infrastructure with Windows Server 2008 Failover Clustering.

More Webcasts


Download the Forefront Client Security Best Practices Analyzer Tool

The Forefront Client Security Best Practices Analyzer Tool is designed for administrators who want to determine the overall health of their Forefront computers and to diagnose current problems. The tool scans the configuration settings of the computer and reports issues that do not conform to the recommended best practices.

Try the New Forefront Security for SharePoint with Service Pack 1

Help protect your Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 collaboration environments with Forefront Security for SharePoint with SP1.

Server Security: Less Is More

Anyone who has spent more than a few days working in information security has probably heard the three core tenets of security: availability, confidentiality, and integrity. This article discusses another well-known but often overlooked concept: simplicity.

Microsoft Security Bulletins for January 2008

Security Center

On Demand

Windows Server 2008: Web, Virtualization, Security, and a Solid Foundation for Your Business Workloads

Prepare yourself for Windows Server 2008. Tune in and learn how you can take advantage of the new features to improve your organization's networking infrastructure and security, server performance and reliability, remote resource access, and client deployment.

How Microsoft Does IT: Creating a Single Sign On Payroll Experience Using Active Directory Federations Service

Microsoft IT creates a single sign on experience for employees to access corporate payroll information using Active Directory Federations Service and a third-party solution.

More On-Demand Sessions

Virtual Labs

TechNet Virtual Lab: Authoring Reports Using SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services

After completing this lab, you will be able to launch the Report Designer Preview, create a data source and a data set, design a new report using the Report Designer of SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services, preview your report, enhance your report layout by working with Tablix functionality, and enrich your report using charts.

Windows Server 2008 Virtual Labs

Try Windows Server 2008 and experience how it will affect your daily routine. These virtual labs give you a chance to test drive the new features of Windows Server 2008, which include improvements to management, network protection, and Terminal Services. Sign up for a free 90-minute block of time, download a manual, and step through a lab today.

More Virtual Labs

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