9 Wired In January

 

 

From the Editor


Welcome to New Era’s January edition of Wired In! Happy New Year's! With a new year come fresh opportunities and new technologies. In 2010, Microsoft has many new releases including Windows 7, SharePoint 2010, Exchange 2010 and coming soon MS Office 2010!

 

 

Join us for our free seminars to learn more about these technologies! Also, be sure to check out our Information Technology Career Portal that can help you learn what you need to do to land your dream job, beef up your resume or advance your career.

 

Take on 2010! Check out:

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Information Technology Career Portal

 

Information Technology Career Portal

 

Microsoft Specials!

 

Last Chance Courses

MS SharePoint

MS SharePoint End User Jan. 22

MS SharePoint Designer & Branding Jan. 25

50046A: Introduction to Development Using Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 (Mindsharp)

Jan. 28

MS SharePoint Power User

Feb. 4

SharePoint Server 2010 Administrator Beta (Mindsharp) Feb. 8

SharePoint Services 4.0 Developer Beta (Mindsharp) Feb. 8

MS Windows Server

6425A: Configuring and Troubleshooting Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Domain Services Jan. 18

50016A Microsoft Softgrid Application Virtualization Jan. 25

6416B: Updating your Network Infrastructure and Active Directory Technology Skills to Windows Server Feb. 8

6422: Implementing and Managing Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

Feb. 17

MS SQL Server

6158C: Updating Your SQL Server 2005 Skills to SQL Server 2008 Jan. 18

6231: Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database Feb. 1

6235A: Implementing and Maintaining Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services

Feb. 17

2788A: Designing High Availability Database Solutions Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Feb. 22

6232A: Implementing a Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Database

Feb. 22

2790A: Troubleshooting and Optimizing Database Servers Using Microsoft SQL Server­ 2005

Feb. 25

MS Exchange

5050: Recovering Messaging Servers and Databases Using MS Exchange Server 2007 Jan. 15

3938C: Updating Your Skills from Microsoft Exchange Server 2000/2003 to 2007 SP1 Feb. 17

5053A: Designing a Messaging Infrastructure Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Feb. 22

5054A: Designing a High Availability Messaging Solution Using Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Feb. 25

Visual Studio & ASP.NET 3.5

2349 Programming with the Microsoft .NET Framework (Microsoft Visual C# .NET)

Feb. 15

Clinic 50030A: Delta .NET 3.0 - 3.5 Feb. 16

50253A: Mastering Microsoft Visual Studio Team System

Feb. 18

2546B: Core Windows Forms Technologies with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Feb. 22

2547A: Advanced Windows Forms Technologies with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Feb. 25

Windows 7

6292A: Installing and Configuring Windows 7 Client Feb. 17

 

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In a challenging professional marketplace, managing your career has never been more important. Technology expertise, combined with proven job-role qualifications can help you differentiate your resume, move up the organizational chart, and tackle new professional opportunities. With our IT Career Portal, you have access to career guidance, detailed learning plans for all MS technologies and many positions, and special offers on certification and instructor-led training to help you reach your goals.

 

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Emerging Technologies

Windows 7

Windows 7 Training is Here! Check out our Windows 7 on schedule!

Free Seminar: Unleash the Power of Windows 7!

Next Seminar: Jan. 27

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Exchange 2010

Exchange 2010 training is coming!

Free Seminar: Exchange 2010 - Taking it to the Next Level!

Next Seminar: Feb. 17
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Free Seminar: SharePoint 2010 - Advancing Communication & Collaboration!

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IT Professional's Connection

IT Professional

by: Christian Millar, MCT, Manager Microsoft Infrastructure Training

 

A deeper look into the new Features of Windows Server 2008 R2 Part 1
In our last newsletter, we spoke about having the opportunity to attend the Tech·Days Canada Calgary event where IT pro’s and Developers alike, were privileged to see several presenters talk about many various subjects, everything from the Microsoft Windows 7 platform to seeing some of the items relating to the new mail server Exchange 2010 , as well as other various new launched products like SharePoint Server 2010, And finally but not least Windows Server 2008 R2 Edition.

In this edition, we will start examining the New Features that 2008 R2 has to offer as mentioned in our last month’s article we would be looking at each particular new Feature separately over the course of the year. This month we will examine all the latest add-ons to the Active Directory section.  

Active Directory Domain Services - Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), formerly known as Active Directory Directory Services, is the central location for configuration information, authentication requests, and information about all of the objects that are stored within your forest. Seems interesting every time I teach a class that most students are unaware of the actual file location that is used for Active Directory, you can always find this located typically in the %SystemRoot%\ntds\NTDS.DIT. The ntds.dit file is the heart of Active Directory including user accounts. This particular Database has the capability to grow to 16 terabytes which would be large enough for 10 million objects.

 

Auditing - Previously in Windows Server 2003 when you changed the value on an object the older value was lost in Windows Server 2008 you can now also capture both old and new values of the specific types in the Security event log. In previous versions of Windows, the auditing subsystem only logged the name of the Active Directory® object attribute or registry value that was changed—it did not log the previous and current values of the attribute. This new capability applies to Active Directory Domain Services, Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services, and the Windows registry. By enabling Audit Success or Audit Failure on the subcategories of "Registry" or "Directory Service Changes" and setting the associated SACLs, detailed events will be raised in the event log for actions on these objects. Changes made to Active Directory objects can be recorded so that you know what was changed on the object, as well as the previous and current values for the changed attributes.

 

Fine-Grained Passwords - The problem with password policies previously before within a Windows Server 2003 environment was that if a Department within your Domain required a separate Password policy; you had to create a separate child domain to facilitate the additional password policy. With Windows Server 2008 we can now utilize a single Domain infrastructure and provide separate password policies that can be associated and can be configured for Security groups or alternatively be used with a new special group called a Shadow Group that would be associated to an OU within the domain. Creating these Fine Grained Password policies requires 2 new containers known as the PSC and the PSO which would be configured with the ADSIedit tool. Essentially you can use fine-grained password policies to specify multiple password policies within a single domain. And you can use fine-grained password policies to apply different restrictions for password and account lockout policies to different sets of users in a domain.

 

Read-Only Domain Controller. A domain controller with a read-only version of the Active Directory database can be deployed in environments where the security of the domain controller cannot be guaranteed, such as branch offices where the physical security of the domain controller is in question, or domain controllers that host additional roles, requiring other users to log on and maintain the server. The use of Read-Only Domain Controllers (RODCs) prevents changes made at branch locations from potentially polluting or corrupting your AD forest via replication. RODCs also eliminate the need to use a staging site for branch office domain controllers, or to send installation media and a domain administrator to the branch location.

 

Restartable Active Directory Domain Services. Previously if you wanted to perform offline defragmentation of the Active Directory Database you would have to reboot the Domain Controller into Directory Services Restore mode and then run NTDSutil to perform the defragmentation. Problem with this was that when you offlined Active Directory you lost the use of Essential Active Directory Services like DHCP and DNS. Now in Windows Server 2008 you can offline the Active Directory Database to perform Defragmentation to the NTDS.dit without, those those Essential Services being stopped. This ultimatly means i can now defrag the Active Directory Database without rebooting the domain controller and restarting it in Directory Services Restore Mode.

 

Database Mounting Tool. An excellent new feature that uses the Volume shadow copy service is the ability to take a snapshot of the Active Directory database that can be later mounted using the Dsamain tool. If you have ever had to do authoritive restores previously you know that  AD backups aren’t pleasant to work with. You have to boot  the DC into a special Directory Services Restore Mode (DSRM), which means the DC is no longer offering directory services. Then you have to restore a backup of AD and manually mark the objects you want to restore as authoritative, so they don’t get overwritten or deleted as soon as the DC is rebooted and starts replicating again. Imagine not knowing which backup has the right version of an object you want, or being in an audit situation and needing to know what changed on an object. Manually restoring every backup to a DC through DSRM would be very time consuming. Even when you find the right backup, it’s very hard to do comparisons between the content of the backup and the live AD item.  With the snapshot capabilities now present this allows a domain administrator to view the objects within the snapshot to determine the restore requirements when necessary without going through the older method.

 

Check back with us next time when we continue our look at the new features that are being offered and if you would like to contact me regarding anything in this article please feel free to email me at cmillar@neweratechnology.com.

 

See you next time!

Developer's Connection

Developerby: Scott Jackson, MCT, Manager .Net Development Training  

 

Querying Metadata in SQL Server 2008


There are times when working with SQL Server 2008 that I want access to the core server metadata. To this end, System Catalog Views provide the most direct and lowest level access to metadata in SQL Server.
Metadata in SQL Server is stored in system tables that should not be modified directly. SQL Server provides system catalog views that provide the metadata information from the system tables in a standard format. The views can remain unchanged even through the underlying system tables have changed.


When can this be useful? Many databases contain considerable numbers of both Tables and Views. By querying the metadata you can gain access to this information using standard T-SQL select statements and where clauses.


For example, if I had a view that I created 1 year ago but forgot what it was called, I could query sys.views:


Select name, create_date, modify_date from sys.views where create_date between  (‘7/12/2007’) and  (‘7/15/2007’)


Name

Create_date

Modify_date

vwProducts

7/12/2007

7/12/2007

vwCustomer

7/14/2007

3/22/2008

vwProducts

7/12/2007

2/3/2008

vwOrders

7/12/2007

7/12/2007

This can be especially useful when you have hundreds of views to sift through. The sys.tables view is equally as useful – If I wanted to find all tables that had something to do with “Orders” I could use the following query:

 

Select name, type_desc from sys.tables where name like ‘%Order%’


Name

Type_desc

Orders

USER_TABLE

CustomerOrders

USER_TABLE

OrderProduct

USER_TABLE

 

 Once again, this is great if you have many tables to work with. Finally, let’s look at the sys.objects table. This view contains a row for each user-defined, schema scoped object that is created in a database.  This can be used to track down everything from constraints to SQL_Triggers.

 

Select * from sys.sysobjects

name

object_id

principal_id

schema_id

sysrowsetcolumns

4

NULL

4

sysrowsets

5

NULL

4

sysallocunits

7

NULL

4

sysfiles1

8

NULL

4

 

MSDN has more examples and other syntax that you can use to expand your ability to work with metadata in SQL Server 2008. Good luck!
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms174365.aspx


If you want to give Scott feedback on this article, email him @ sjackson@neweratechology.com

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