Microsoft Press Is Now Blogging!
By Devon Musgrave, content development manager, Microsoft Learning
In late January, Microsoft Press launched its blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/microsoft_press/
. Posts so far have included:
• Introductions to the blog's writers
• Information on new books (for example, Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Inside the Microsoft Build Engine: Using MSBuild and Team Foundation Build
, Active Directory Administrator's Pocket Consultant, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Resource Kit
, How We Test Software at Microsoft
, and others)
• Pointers to author events and free e-books
• Answers to reader queries
• Guest-posts by Microsoft Press authors
• Requests for feedback
• And less-serious fare too
Future posts will include even more book excerpts so that you can examine our books' compelling content.
We hope you'll subscribe to the blog or check in often. And please let us know what kind of information you'd like to see—either by leaving comments on the site or by using its contact form (click "Email" at the top left of the page). We'll do our best to get it to you!
(By the way, we're also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MicrosoftPress
For IT Professionals
Reviewed by Mitch Tulloch, lead author of the Windows Vista Resource Kit
Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant provides concise, valuable guidance for administrators who need to implement, manage, and maintain Group Policy in enterprise environments. As in Stanek's other Administrator's Pocket Consultant titles, the writing style is clear and direct, the content accurate, and the organization easy to follow.
Part I, "Implementing Group Policy," includes two chapters. Chapter 1, "Introducing Group Policy," helps you understand both domain and local Group Policy and introduces the tools used for managing policy. Chapter 2, "Deploying Group Policy," describes Group Policy enhancements in the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems, explains the difference between policy settings and preferences, and shows how to apply and link policy objects to Active Directory objects.
Part II, "Managing Group Policy," has three chapters. Chapter 3, "Group Policy Management," provides step-by-step guidance for performing common administration tasks using the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and the Group Policy Management Editor. Chapter 4, "Advanced Group Policy Management," examines Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), a benefit for volume-licensed Software Assurance (SA) customers, which provides a set of extensions for the GPMC that increase the power and flexibility of policy management by implementing change control, Group Policy Object (GPO) templates, and enhanced delegation. Chapter 5, "Searching and Filtering Group Policy," shows you how to quickly search for GPOs, filter for policy settings, and use security filtering and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) filters to fine-tune policy processing.
Part III, "Maintaining and Recovering Group Policy," includes three chapters that help you fine-tune your Group Policy environment and quickly recover from a disaster. Chapter 6, "Maintaining and Migrating the SYSVOL," provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement Distributed File System (DFS) replication of the SYSVOL throughout a domain for more efficient replication of policy data. The chapter also outlines several other procedures you can implement to maintain your SYSVOL, including how to generate health reports and perform propagation tests. Chapter 7, "Managing Group Policy Processing," shows how to modify policy processing by changing how inheritance works, implementing loopback processing, modifying the refresh interval, and configuring slow-link detection. Part III concludes with Chapter 8, "Maintaining and Restoring Group Policy," which has detailed instructions on how to back up and restore policy objects and other settings.
The book concludes with an appendix, "Installing Group Policy Extensions and Tools," that shows you how to install the client and server components of AGPM on different Windows platforms.
Windows Group Policy Administrator's Pocket Consultant is a book that every enterprise administrator will want to have handy on the bookshelf. I had the privilege of working with Stanek as the technical reviewer for this title, and was impressed with the quality and quantity of valuable information the book provides.
Reviewed and excerpted by Rosemary Caperton, content project manager, Microsoft Press
MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-648 & 70-649): Transitioning Your MCSA/MCSE to Windows Server 2008 will be available in stores and online March 18, 2009. Ian McLean and Orin Thomas are experts in their field, and have written this exam guide to help you optimize your preparation for the skills measured by MCTS Exams 70-648 and 70-649.
From the Introduction:
This training kit is designed for Windows Server 2003 MCSEs and MCSAs who want to update their current certification credentials to reflect their experience with the Windows Server 2008 operating system. As an MCSE or an MCSA, you are a server administrator who has at least three years of experience managing Windows servers and infrastructure in an environment with between 250 and 5,000 or more users in three or more physical locations.
You are likely responsible for supporting network services and resources such as messaging, database servers, file and print servers, a proxy server, a firewall, Internet connectivity, an intranet, remote access, and client computers. You will also be responsible for implementing connectivity requirements such as connecting branch offices and individual users in remote locations to the corporate network and connecting corporate networks to the Internet.
By using this training kit, you will learn how to do the following:
• Configure additional Active Directory server roles
• Maintain an Active Directory environment
• Configure Active Directory certificate services
• Configure IP addressing and services
• Configure network access
• Monitor and manage a network infrastructure
• Deploy servers
• Configure Terminal Services
• Configure a Web services infrastructure
A note from Alan Page, director, Test Excellence, Microsoft Engineering Learning and Development
Did you know that Microsoft has nearly 10,000 software testers? Do you wonder what they all do? How do testers fit in with the other disciplines at Microsoft? What tools do they use?
People ask me those questions and many more all of the time
. So I was intrigued when, a few years ago, my manager (at the time), Ken Johnston, asked me to write a book about testing at Microsoft. OK—to be completely honest, at first I told him to go away and leave me alone. There are hundreds of existing books about testing. I've read dozens myself, and I just didn't see the use of adding another book to the testing pile. Then Ken reminded me about how
we make the technical training we provide at Microsoft come alive. Sure, we talk about boring-sounding things like equivalence classes, boundary values, and model-based testing, but we tell stories about how the techniques and approaches are used at Microsoft. Books like Code Complete
and Writing Solid Code
are great books because they are full of stories. Joel Spolsky has released two popular books full of stories about programming. So the premise of the book was that we would talk about how we test at Microsoft, but that we’d pack it full of stories about where our techniques, tools, and approaches worked... and where they failed.
We broke the book into four sections. The first section includes some background information on how engineering teams are put together, what roles testers play, and how they all get together and go about making software. A lot of what we do in testing at Microsoft is based on the context of how many products we make, how many engineers we have, and the roles the engineers play. The second section discusses some of the approaches we use for test design, including functional and structural testing approaches, code complexity, and model-based testing. The third section of the book covers some of the tools we use for testing, and for tracking bugs and test cases. The last section includes chapters on testing software services and on emerging approaches at Microsoft, such as leveraging virtualization for automation labs. We close with a chapter looking to the future of testing and quality at Microsoft.
Special Offer for Visual Studio 2008
Get a head start on working with the Visual Studio 2008 development system with these chapters. It includes excerpts from three recent Microsoft Press titles and provides a wealth of information and insights from top experts.
The free e-book offer includes several chapters from:
• Programming Microsoft LINQ by Paolo Pialorsi and Marco Russo
• Introducing Microsoft Silverlight 2, Second Edition by Laurence Moroney
• Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 by Dino Esposito
Note: If you experience problems accessing a Microsoft Press offer, please try clearing your Web browser's cache before attempting to access the offer again.Microsoft Press 25th Anniversary "Free E-Book of the Month" Offers
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any e-book offers for March. But we'll be back in April with more, so check the April 15th edition of the newsletter and the Microsoft Press blog
March 18, 2009
For DevelopersCode Complete, Second Edition
, by Steve McConnell
For Home and Office UsersWindows Vista Plain & Simple
, by Jerry Joyce and Marianne Moon
For IT ProfessionalsWindows Server 2008 Inside Out
, by William R. Stanek
For CertificationMCITP Self-Paced Training Kit (Exams 70-640, 70-642, 70-643, 70-647): Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Administrator Core Requirements
, by Dan Holme, Nelson Ruest, Danielle Ruest, Tony Northrup, J.C. Mackin, Anil Desai, Orin Thomas, John Policelli, Ian McLean, P. Mancuso, and D.R. Miller
For DevelopersMicrosoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Step by Step
, by Scott Cameron, Hitachi ConsultingMicrosoft ASP.NET and AJAX: Architecting Web Applications
, by Dino Esposito
For IT ProfessionalsWindows Server 2008 Hyper-V Resource Kit
, by Robert Larson and Janique Carbone with the Windows Virtualization Team at MicrosoftWindows Small Business Server 2008 Administrator's Pocket Consultant
, by Craig Zacker
For CertificationMCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-562): Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5—ASP.NET
, by Mike Snell, Glenn Johnson, Tony Northrup, and GrandMastersMCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-448): Microsoft SQL Server 2008—Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance
, by Erik Veerman, Teo Lachev, and Dejan Sarka of Solid Quality Mentors