=A0LONG BEACH, Calif.-At its Professional Developer Conference today,
Microsoft Corp. previewed features of NT 5, including a new directory
service with enhanced login scripting and World Wide Web-based management.
The directory service and other technologies being shown here during the
next few days are designed to build support for distributed computing int=
Microsoft's product line, primarily on the server side.
Group Vice President of Platforms and Applications Paul Maritz demonstrat=
how Microsoft is widening the Windows platform, from standard servers and
workstations to a TV-based version of Explorer to New York subway kiosks
that run NT Workstation.
These systems can be tied together and connected to the Internet through =
infrastructure called the Active Platform.
"We want to provide seamless integration [between internal networks and t=
Internet],'' said Maritz. "The vast amount of traffic [over a network]
could and should go over the Internet.''
Active Platform is a new name for a collection of previously discussed
technologies, such as OLE DB (a filter that lets users query structured o=
unstructured data) and OLE DS (a new directory structure).
Pieces of the Active Platform, such as a beta of the Viper transaction
server, are being made available to attendees of the conference. These
services, in beta form, run on NT 4.0. NT 5 itself will not be released i=
beta until the second half of 1997, according to a chart that Maritz
showed. The next version of Windows 95, code-named Memphis, will be
released in the same time frame.
Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the Desktop and Business Systems
Division, outlined three areas in which Microsoft is working to create
logically centralized but physically decentralized networks. In such
networks, files, directories, even applications can be split across
different servers for fault tolerance and load balancing but administered
from a single console and directory tree as if they were all on the same
To track this distribution, Allchin demonstrated the Active Directory, an
implementation of OLE DS.
Users can search through this directory with a Windows Address Book
application that lists every node on a network and tap into information
stored on Lightweight Directory Assistance Protocol, Novell Directory
Services, NetWare 3, and older NT networks.
Administrators can manage the directory through a Web browser with a tool
called DS Web as well as create new organizational units and edit
properties of each node.
Answering users' complaints of poor login-script support, Microsoft also =
building a new engine called WScript that lets administrators write VB
Script or Java Script-based login scripts. This engine is based on the
Denali technology but does not include all of Denali's functions.
To provide security for the network, the Redmond, Wash., company also
announced that it planned to merge the Kerberos and public-key security