Microsoft TechNet Biweekly Newsletter
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From the Editor
Dear IT Managers,
In this issue, Microsoft is combining forces with the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) to ask for your help.

ICTC has been working for a number of years to create a strong, prepared and highly-educated ICT industry and workforce in Canada. In our industry, the only constant is change, so that has kept us on our toes! Now, as the field matures, and information and communications technology has become so integrated into every aspect of business and our personal lives, we are hearing two clear messages from employers of ICT workers:
first, there is a need for employees with more than just technical skills; business skills are equally important, and
second, since colleges and universities are not graduating enough technically-proficient workers, they need ways of attracting people into the profession from non-traditional sources, such as those from other departments, disciplines or countries.
In response to these needs in the field, ICTC has begun exploring the feasibility of a single, integrated recognition and certification framework that incorporates both business skills and technical skills and that recognizes vendor and other ICT certifications.

This Path to Recognition initiative is in its very first phase, and we want to ensure we represent the views not only of industry, but also of current and prospective ICT employees about their specific needs. To that end, Microsoft has agreed to assist us in asking for the opinions of individuals with an interest in the ICT professions – you. Your views are so important to this initiative; without them, we cannot build a framework that is both relevant and practical. Here is a link to an on-line survey produced by our market research firm, YCG, that incorporates a little more information about what we have in mind and then asks a few questions. Your answers will be invaluable to us.

In appreciation for your time, YCG has asked me to advise you that for the first 500 respondents, they will make a donation to a charity you choose from a list at the end of the survey. Thank you for taking the time.

Take the Survey Now.

Paul Swinwood
President, Information and Communications Technology Council

Heroes Happen Here Launch 2008
7 weeks
Register Now for Launch & Technical Readiness Events in a city near you:
Featured Webcasts
Monday, January 21, 2008
11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
11:30 A.M.–1:00 P.M. Pacific Time
Thursday, January 24, 2008
9:30 A.M.–11:00 A.M. Pacific Time
Featured Virtual Labs

Your Featured Content
Focusing on Business Productivity, the winter 2008 11-city nationwide tour is designed to help you build even stronger connections with your customers, partners, and employees. You’ll get a comprehensive look at the latest Microsoft innovations in Business Intelligence (BI), Enterprise Content Management (ECM), and Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C). From simplifying processes and improving business insight to securing and managing content, you’ll learn how the Microsoft business productivity platform can help streamline your IT environment and strengthen your connections. Enable your people to do more, faster. Register now.
Windows Home Server is an exciting new consumer product based upon Windows Server 2003 R2 technology. On February 4th at the BCIT, Burnaby Campus, BC Kevin Beares (Community Lead for Windows Home Server) will give a presentation on the technology behind Windows Home Server and demonstrate its numerous features. This presentation should appeal to both those who would simply like to know more about Windows Home Server and to those with more technical interests. Register Now 
WITPro is pleased to present their first group meeting of 2008! Join them to hear Mitch Tulloch, local Author and Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, speak about the features of Windows Deployment Services in Windows Server 2008 at 6:00 p.m. Check out Mitch's website Register Now 
Learn how the power of data visualization can help maximize your company's productivity and efficiency at the Microsoft Office Visio Conference, February 5-6, 2008 at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond. The conference provides an opportunity to network with leaders from Microsoft, see Best Practices and demonstrations of powerful Visio-based solutions, and learn about the future for Visio. Register here today!
Microsoft Business Intelligence now has its very own newsletter! The Microsoft BI newsletter arrives this month and is designed to keep you informed and up to date on the latest news, resources, customer success stories and events related to Microsoft Business Intelligence. Subscribe now!
Join us for four deep-dive technical sessions and get detailed information on messaging, presence and enterprise instant messaging, conferencing and voice. Sessions take place in five cities and are led by Microsoft and Microsoft technology partner experts. Register now.
Ensure that the content most relevant to you is presented in this section.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take advantage of Microsoft IT lessons learned for your own unique deployments through Microsoft IT Showcase.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get help with features such as design, workflows, forms, document management, and business intelligence.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Leading Web sites around the world are using Silverlight to add cool new interactivity and media features. Download to start enjoying it today.

Evaluation Center Updates
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.
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.
SQL Server 2008 is a reliable, and scalable platform for your business-critical applications that helps reduce 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, virtually anywhere.

Scripting for IT Pros
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...
See previous comics in the TechNet Flash Web-based archive.

Support and Troubleshooting
How-to Articles 
Knowledge Base Articles
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 RSS

Featured Downloads
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.
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
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.
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.

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

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

Virtual Labs
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.
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.

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TechNet Flash
Volume 10, Issue 1

December 2007
In This Issue:
Heroes Happen Here Launch 2008
Your Featured Content
Evaluation Center Updates
Scripting for IT Pros
Support and Troubleshooting
Featured Downloads
Upcoming Webcasts
On Demand
Virtual Labs
Received TechNet Flash from a Friend?
Canadian Links
TechNet Homepage
TechNet Beta Central
Canadian User Groups
IT Pro Blog
IT Manager Blog
Tell Us Your IT Interests and Get News to Match
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