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MSDN Home > MSJ > August 1999
August 1999

Microsoft Systems Journal Homepage

Editor's Note

After a rough "offsite" in the Fort Worth Leather Man district last month (see the July MIND ednote for more on that), it looked like Joe had gone AWOL. We had no sign of him other than a series of cryptic late-night phone calls from a vagrant who calls himself BoozeHound54. We followed all the instructions we were given, even setting up an investment advice Web site for him to run. Well, BoozeHound54 is a multi­­­­millionaire now, able to move stocks up or down by 15 percent with a single, Red Dog-laced belch, but it was a while until we secured Joe's safe return.
Other than a minor mishap or two, TechEd/Dallas was a great success for us. At the best conferences, you'll experience a combination of information about things you're already doing, presentations of imminent releases, and interesting demonstrations of future technology. Some of the biggest buzz at TechEd seemed to be about Platinum.
Platinum is the code name for the next version of Microsoft Exchange Server. Yawn, you say, just another mail server. Look, you're just damn lucky you didn't say that in front of us. We don't go for that sort of rudeness here. In his keynote, Bob Muglia outlined some of the features of Platinum.
Platinum will take advantage of the Windows 2000 Active Directory. All Platinum directory information, which includes mailboxes, information about servers, sites, and custom recipients, will be stored in the Active Directory. Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) , the universal directory protocol, is supported for programming via the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI), formerly OLE DS.
You've read about OLE DB and ADO in the pages of MSJ. OLE DB is a programming interface that provides a common means of accessing BackOffice data. Supporting OLE DB 2.5, Platinum anchors the interface to the n-tier data and services of Exchange Server, SQL Server, and the other BackOffice components. OLE DB abstracts rowset access, query specification and execution, and data hierarchy navigation, allowing combined SQL and Exchange data manipulation. Devs can also use ADO to navigate, query, filter, and sort Exchange Server data.
To address the middle tier of Windows DNA, Platinum provides a Web Store—a file system for documents and applications including Office documents, Web files, and email messages, all in a single Web-accessible location. Platinum will give you an OLE DB provider that will make it easy to create apps that exploit both Exchange and SQL. Business logic will be enhanced with version 3.0 of the Collaboration Data Objects (CDO) library. Besides being capable of accessing Exchange data, CDO 3.0, which is built on OLE DB, provides access to Internet standard protocol service such as LDAP queries and MIME message body parts.
Platinum is much larger than the thread we've just explored, but each day Windows DNA begins to make more sense. Scary! For more information check out html/Exchange_and_Active_Directory.htm and Bob Muglia's keynote pages.asp?s=49100&p=612.
Platinum represents a great leap forward in how people will think of mail and data servers in the years to come. If you're interested in finding out more about the underlying technologies, you're in luck! A Microsoft Exchange conference will be held in Atlanta from October 4-7, 1999. Check out for more details.

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