• Windows SharePoint Services
  • Applications for Windows SharePoint Services
  • SharePoint sites – file storage plus collaboration
  • SharePoint Central Administration – Web browser interface for managing servers
  • Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0
  • Cost-Effective Virtualization
  • Web Services for Management
  • Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications
  • Support for 64-bit Applications
  • New Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box
  • Improved error handling
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 Reviewer's Guide Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2

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    Improved Web Platform

    Deliver secure and scalable Web applications, extend business infrastructure over the Web and control costs via enhancements in Windows SharePoint Services, .NET Framework 2.0, x64 and Internet Information Services 6.0. Windows SharePoint Services enables efficient collaboration with employees, partners, and suppliers across organizational boundaries. ASP.NET 2.0, a component of the .NET Framework, makes Web Services and Applications easier to develop, deploy, configure & manage while Internet Information Services 6.0 delivers a secure, high-performance Web server that reliably extends Business Infrastructure to the Web.

    Windows SharePoint Services

    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services is an integrated portfolio of collaboration and communication services designed to connect people, information, processes, and systems both within and beyond the organizational firewall. Windows SharePoint Services, Service Pack 2 (SP2), is included in Windows Server 2003 R2. Now administrators can install Windows SharePoint Services directly from the Configure Your Server or Manage Your Server Wizard.

    With the Windows SharePoint Services, you are able to accelerate deployment and ultimately reduce IT administration costs on your collaboration platform.

    Applications for Windows SharePoint Services

    Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services can be easily customized using application templates. Application templates are tailored to address the needs and requirements for specific business processes or sets of tasks for organizations of any size. The applications are the first out-of-box custom scenarios for the Windows SharePoint Services platform, though they also provide a starting point for partners and developers looking to build deeper Windows SharePoint Services solutions.

    SharePoint sites – file storage plus collaboration

    Web sites based on Windows SharePoint Services provide a place where teams can communicate, share documents, and work together on a project. SharePoint functionality includes:

    • Team collaboration features including event calendars, contacts, Web links, discussions, issues lists, and announcements.

    • Document libraries – places where users can store and retrieve documents while taking advantage of rich features such as check-in and check-out, version history, custom metadata, and flexible, customizable views.

    • Web Parts which can provide data access, Web services, and many other applications and content to SharePoint sites.

    Site users can contribute to the site by using nothing more than a Web browser. However, if users have Windows SharePoint Services-compatible client programs, such as Microsoft Office 2003, installed on their computers they can work seamlessly with the site, saving files to libraries, editing documents in the client program, and moving or linking that information to the site.

    SharePoint Central Administration – Web browser interface for managing servers

    Administrators can manage a single server or an entire server farm running Windows SharePoint Services from a Web browser interface called SharePoint Central Administration. Use SharePoint Central Administration to extend a virtual server, create sites (or turn on Self-Service Site Creation so users can create their own sites), manage security settings, manage the list of servers in a server farm, and so on. If administrators prefer, they can also use the Stsadm.exe command-line utility to manage their servers running Windows SharePoint Services.

    ASP.NET 2.0

    ASP.NET 2.0 reduces development and management costs of Web applications with improvements that simplify management, enable high performance solutions, and empower developers.

    • Efficiently managing ASP.NET 2.0 Web sites and applications is simpler. A new configuration API allows administrators to write scripts that automate provisioning, deployment, and management. Additionally, a new MMC plug-in integrated with IIS 6.0 enables GUI-based administration of all ASP.NET configuration settings giving the user with integrated set of management tools for IIS and ASP.NET administration. With the Health Monitoring API, developers can add granular event-level analysis functionality to their applications which enables real-time tracing and stats of running applications.

    • ASP.NET 2.0 introduces a number of new features for implementing high performance solutions. First, Web Sites can now be pre-compiled to enhance performance and responsiveness or to protect intellectual property by deploying with source code stripped away. Second, ASP.NET 2.0 offers features like an enhanced logging framework and built-in automated security and database caching which allow developers to build self-managing, self-healing applications on the DSI (Dynamic Systems Initiative) model. Lastly, ASP.NET 2.0 can be customized for any enterprise environment by replacing or extending any of the built-in features or services.

    • New ASP.NET services and built-in features enable more productive development of richer application scenarios. Forty five new Security, Data, Navigation & Web Part Controls allow developers to write up to 70% less code for faster development of rich web sites and applications. Security is enhanced and streamlined by Membership and Login APIs adding custom authentication and authorization to new applications. Additionally, a new page design framework using Master Pages, Themes, and Skins separates site design from code and content to deliver a consistent, customizable user experience that can be updated and maintained separately from the application’s code and content.

    Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0

    The Web Platform delivered in Windows Server 2003 R2 is anchored on IIS 6.0, a secure scalable web server that is enhanced by Windows Server 2003 technologies specifically SP1 and x64 supportability. These technologies help decrease infrastructure costs by reducing downtime & errors, improving security, and increasing performance & scalability.

    • Event Tracing for Windows, Metabase Auditing and WC3 Centralized Logging tools added to IIS in SP1, simplify debugging defective applications or improper configurations with their powerful log and trace capabilities.

    • The Security Configuration Wizard in SP1 augments security lockdown already prevalent in IIS 6.0 with a graphical interface that walks IT Pros though a thorough hardening of the Web server.

    • x64 support for IIS 6.0 reduces errors and downtime by decreasing cache recycling by doubling virtual memory available to 32 bit applications.

    • IIS on x64 runs on significantly lower CPU and supports twice as many connections creating significant IT savings.

    Cost-Effective Virtualization

    With Windows Server 2003 R2, Microsoft has introduced a number of licensing changes to better facilitate virtualization. To begin with, a single license for Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition grants the organization that holds it a license to that physical instance of the operating system as well as licenses for four virtual instances of either Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition. Moreover, Windows Server 2003 R2 licenses only apply to running instances of the operating system; an organization with a library virtual machines with Windows Server 2003 R2 installed on them would not pay for a license of for each installed instance (as with the traditional licensing model), rather, the customer would pay for only those instances of Windows Server 2003 R2 that were running at any given time. Thus not only does this new licensing model provide excellent value with Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, it also nurtures the adoption of virtualization by only making organizations pay for what they use.

    Additional Features

    Web Services for Management

    Windows Remote Management Service is Microsoft’s implementation of the new Web Services for Management protocol and allows organizations to use a secure and firewall-friendly remote management protocol.

    Web Services for Management include the following benefits:

    • Allows organization to use a secure and firewall friendly remote management protocol.

    • Enables cross-firewall remote management of servers using WMI via HTTP and SOAP.

    • Enables management of remote servers when the operating system is not running in a pre-boot and post-crash scenario such as a change boot order or power-cycle.

    Hardware management makes Window Server aware of IPMI instrumentation in the motherboard with a new driver in the following scenarios:

    • Events raised in the hardware system event log are also displayed in he Windows event log.

    • Sensor values and probes can be read and set through a new WMI provider such as status of fan speed and temperature.

    • Allows IPMI to be accessible to all management tools and scripts that use WMI.

    Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications

    Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA) is a source-compatibility subsystem for compiling and running custom UNIX-based applications on a computer running a Windows server-class operating system. Administrators can perfect their applications in SUA with little or no change to their original source code.

    Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications provides an operating system for POSIX processes. SUA, along with its package of support utilities (such as shells and a Telnet client) available for download on the Microsoft Beta website, provides a complete UNIX environment. The download package includes a comprehensive set of scripting utilities and a software development kit (SDK) designed to fully support the development capabilities of SUA while providing a complete UNIX-based application development experience.

    SUA also supports case-sensitive file names, job control, compilation tools, and the use of over 300 UNIX commands, utilities, and shell scripts. Because the subsystem installs separately from the Windows kernel, it offers true UNIX functionality without any emulation.

    New features in this release include:

    • Database (OCI/ODBC) library connectivity. SUA supports connectivity to Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server from database applications, through the Oracle Call Interface (OCI) and the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard.

    • Microsoft Visual Studio Debugger Extension for debugging POSIX applications. SUA includes support for debugging the POSIX processes using the Visual Studio IDE.

    • Utilities based on SVR-5 and BSD UNIX environments. The SUA download package supports two different UNIX environments: SVR-5 and BSD.

    Support for 64-bit Applications

    Using a process called thunking, SUA provides support not only for 64-bit applications running on a 64-bit operating system, but also default support for 32-bit binaries running on a 64-bit operating system.

    Common Log File System

    Common Log File System (CLFS) is a loadable driver that provides kernel-mode or user-mode applications with a robust logging subsystem. CLFS is a unique Windows technology that can be used to develop applications and middleware which depend on durably writing and reading sequential data. Examples include replication agents, auditing agents, databases, and other transactional resource managers.

    Common Log File System features:

    Ability to create log files with a single stream of data or with multiple streams of data for shared use by one or more clients

    Circular and linear logging

    Guaranteed ability to flush buffered data by pre-reserving space in the log

    Policy-based log size and space management

    Sharing of a single log by both kernel and user clients

    Notification mechanism to allow different users within the same log to coordinate their log use

    Flexible buffering of log data

    Archiving APIs do not interfere with normal operations

    Atomic multi-sector writes

    Torn-write detection

    Administrators can use CLFS for Windows to build reliable user-mode or kernel-mode components that run on a single system or in a server cluster environment. CLFS simultaneously supports one or more independent log files on a single system. Administrators can configure log files for dedicated use by a single client or for shared use by multiple clients. Log file accesses can either be directed to local disk or to disks on remote systems by using internal client/server support. Within a cluster, log files can fail over to another system using standard mechanisms.

    CLFS is optimized for performance. All writes to the log file are buffered until an explicit flush, an opportunity to share a write with another client, or the buffer is filled. Log data is written directly to the hard disk from the log buffers without copying. Multiple streams of data can be written during the same I/O operation, resulting in only one disk seek for what normally takes multiple seeks and writes. Reads are cached to save disk accesses during normal operation or bursts of read activity.

    MMC 3.0

    Administrators can use Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to create, save, and open administrative tools (called snap-ins) that manage the hardware, software, and network components of their Windows operating system. MMC 3.0 can be run on Windows Server 2003 R2.

    MMC does not perform administrative functions, but hosts tools that do. Snap-ins are the most common of these tools. Other items that administrators can add include Microsoft® ActiveX® controls, links to Web pages, folders, and tasks.

    Windows Server 2003 R2 includes several preconfigured snap-in consoles, such as Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc) and Performance Monitor (Perfmon.msc). Administrators can create additional snap-in consoles to meet their needs. Depending on how a snap-in console is configured, it can be a customizable multi-function tool for an IT generalist, a limited-function tool for delegating work to an IT specialist, or anything in between.

    There are two ways that administrators can use MMC: in user mode, working with existing snap-in consoles to administer a system, or in author mode, creating new snap-in consoles or modifying existing snap-in consoles.

    Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 supports richer functionality in snap-ins that are written to take advantage of the MMC 3.0 infrastructure. In addition, there are several improvements that apply to any MMC 3.0 console:

    Action pane

    The Action pane appears at the right-hand side of the MMC snap-in console. It lists the actions that are currently available to administrators, based on the currently selected items in the tree or the results pane.

    To show or hide the action pane, click the Show/Hide Action Pane button in the toolbar, which is similar to the Show/Hide Tree button.

    New Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box

    The new Add/Remove Snap-in dialog box makes it easy to add, organize, and remove snap-ins. Administrators can control which extensions are available, and whether to automatically enable snap-ins that may be installed later. They can nest snap-ins and rearrange the snap-ins in the tree.

    To use this dialog box in the RC version, administrators must manually set a registry key.

    Improved error handling

    MMC 3.0 notifies administrators of errors in snap-ins that could cause MMC to fail, and provides several options for responding to those errors.


    Windows Server 2003 R2 makes it easier and more cost effective to extend connectivity and control to identities, locations, data and applications throughout and beyond your organization. Windows Server 2003 R2 is an update release of the award-winning Windows Server 2003 operating system. Built on Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2003 R2 takes advantage of the stability and security of a proven code base while extending connectivity and control into new areas. Windows Server 2003 R2 offers all the benefits of Windows Server 2003 with SP1 while greatly improving identity and access management, branch server management, storage setup and management, and application development inside and outside your organization’s boundaries. Windows Server 2003 R2 is designed to be slipstreamed into existing Windows Server 2003 environments without retesting or recertifying existing roles or applications or upgrading to new Client Access Licenses, easing administrative burden and simplifying deployment and adoption. Windows Server 2003 R2 builds upon the increased security, reliability and performance provided by Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 1 and demonstrates Microsoft’s commitment to continuously improving the Windows Server platform.

    Related Links

    For more information on Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003, and the Windows Server System™, see the following:

    • Windows Server 2003 ” on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/

    • Windows Server System ” on the Microsoft Windows Server System Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/

    • Windows Server 2003 R2” on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/R2/

    For more information on Identity Management, see the following:

    • Automate Information Access with Identity Management” on the Microsoft Windows Server System Web site located at http://www.microsoft.com/idm/

    • Identity and Directory Services” on the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/technologies/idm/

    • Microsoft Identity and Access Management” on the Microsoft TechNet Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/topics/identitymanagement/idmanage/

    • ADFS” on the Microsoft MSDN® Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/theshow/episode047/

    • Web Services Development Center” on the MSDN Web site at http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/

    For more information on Self-Managing Dynamic Systems see the following:

    • Microsoft Announces Comprehensive Virtualization Strategy to Enable Self-Managing Dynamic Systems” on the Microsoft PressPass Web site.

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    Windows Server 2003 R2 Reviewer's Guide Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2

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