Windows Server also includes Enterprise Services, the latest version of Microsoft's COM and COM+ technologies. Enterprise Servers enables developers to more easily create distributed, enterprise-class applications by making many complex tasks?such as transaction handling, application security, and so forth?available directly from the operating system. Enterprise Services provides several enhancements that are, frankly, only of interest to serious developers. Although it's nice to know that these services exist, they don't really have much impact on an administrator, other than as an explanation for why your developers are so interested in getting Windows Server up and running. If you're interested in reading more about the Enterprise Services features, visit msdn.Microsoft.com/library. In the left menu, drill down to Component Development, Enterprise Services, Technical Articles, Windows Server 2003 and Enterprise Services.
One tremendously important development enhancement is part of the .NET Framework: ASP.NET. ASP.NET is the newest version of Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology, which helped make IIS one of the most popular commercial Web servers available. ASP.NET was designed from scratch to address many of the problems that became apparent as ASP was adopted in larger environments.
For more information on how ASP and ASP.NET work, and why you should care, visit www.samspublishing.com and enter this book's ISBN number (no hyphens or parentheses) in the Search field; then click the book's cover image to access the book details page. Click the Web Resources link in the More Information section, and locate article ID# A010901.
Windows Server even offers improvements in some of the development technologies that were already present in older versions of Windows:
The .NET Framework is, of course, included with Windows Server, so you don't have to worry about deploying it separately like you did with Windows 2000.
The .NET Framework's runtime security works along with software restriction group policies, giving you powerful tools to manage the software that runs on your servers.
Microsoft's Message Queue Service (MSMQ) supports SOAP as a native protocol, making MSMQ more accessible to developers of Web services.
Under Windows Server 2003, legacy COM+ applications can be converted to a Web service by selecting a check box. This powerful capability relies on Windows Server 2003's native Web services support and enables companies to more easily move their existing applications into a Web services environment.
ASP.NET, which works with IIS 5.0 in Windows 2000, is integrated more tightly with IIS 6.0 in Windows Server 2003, providing full process model integration for more reliable applications.
Windows Server 2003's inclusion of Network Load Balancing (NLB) in all editions (as opposed to only including NLB in the Advanced Server and Datacenter Server editions of Windows 2000) provides better support for scalable applications and Web farms.
Your developers will probably be eager for Windows Server 2003 to be rolled into production, so they can start taking advantage of these new features.