Microsoft Virtual Labs Update for December 2005

MSDN Virtual Labs


ASP.NET is a programming framework built on the common language runtime that can be used on a server to build powerful Web applications. ASP.NET offers several important advantages over previous Web development models - it allows you to write code more easily and it offers enhanced performance, security, power, and flexibility.


Building on Microsoft Windows Server System and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 delivers an integrated, interoperable, modularized, extensible, and security-enhanced e-business solution that enables companies to connect information, systems, people, and processes. The labs in this series build upon each other to give a "top to bottom" experience of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004. Though we suggest taking the full course of labs to get the broadest possible knowledge of the material, they can be taken in any order. If you find some of the more advanced material using concepts you are unfamiliar with, please try one of the earlier labs.

Connected Systems

Apply power of software to enhance information flow across processes, people and infrastructure. Real world applications need to deal with all issues from end-to-end, rather than stop after addressing only a few technical specifics. These labs maintain a thread of continuity as you explore concepts of Service Oriented Architecture, Web Services, SmartClients and Portals, Security and Identity management, back-end Integration and more. The labs help you tie all these dimensions together into a Connected System vision that you can use to empower your IT.

Data Access and Storage

Most applications require some form of data access. If you are creating a new application, you have three excellent data access choices: ADO.NET, ADO, and OLE DB.

Fritz Onion's Intro to ASP.NET

Fritz Onion is a founding partner of Pluralsight, a think-tank organization delivering in-depth technical content and training, where he focuses on Web development with ASP.NET. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book Essential ASP.NET (Addison Wesley), and is currently working on a second edition that will cover ASP.NET 2.0.

Java to .NET Framework Migration Workshop

This series of Virtual Labs complements free online training designed especially for helping Java developers become more acquainted with building applications on the Microsoft .NET Framework. In addition to skills mapping, Java developers will also learn how to use automated conversion tools - such as the Java Language Conversion Assistant and Visual J# - to migrate existing Java applications to the .NET Framework.


Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 provides a rich set of tools and technologies that enables developers to efficiently implement robust business solutions. In these labs, you will use Word, Excel and InfoPath 2003 with industry standard XML, .NET Framework technologies and the Visual Studio Tools for Office.


Security is a common and ever-present concern for both users and developers. There are a broad range of ways in which programmers can improve the security of their applications.

Smart Client

Smart clients are easily deployed and managed client applications that provide an adaptive, responsive and rich interactive experience by leveraging local resources and intelligently connecting to distributed data sources.

Soup to Nuts

Learn how to build Microsoft Windows Forms applications and Smart Clients in Microsoft .NET. We will cover object oriented concepts and delve deep into .NET. During this series of labs, you will learn how to create rich user interfaces, access data, and see industry-proven ways to get Windows Forms applications to market quickly.

SQL Server 2005

SQL Server 2005 is Microsoft's next-generation data management and analysis software that will deliver increased scalability, availability, and security to enterprise data and analytical applications while making them easier to create, deploy, and manage. In these labs, you will get to experience many of the new features in SQL Server 2005 including CLR integration, XML support and deep business intelligence integration.

Visual Basic

Visual Basic .NET 2003 provides the easiest, most productive language and tool for rapidly building applications for Microsoft Windows and the Web. Ideal for existing Visual Basic developers as well as new developers in the Microsoft .NET development environment, Visual Basic .NET 2003 delivers enhanced visual designers, increased application performance, and a powerful integrated development environment (IDE) to get you on the fast track to application development.

Visual C#

Visual C# .NET 2003 is the modern, innovative programming language and tool for building .NET-connected software for Microsoft Windows, the Web, and a wide range of devices. With syntax that resembles C++, a flexible integrated development environment (IDE), and the capability to build solutions across a variety of platforms and devices, Visual C# .NET 2003 significantly eases the development of .NET-connected software.

Visual C++

Visual C++ .NET 2003 is the most productive C++ tool for creating the highest-performance applications for Windows and the Web. Nearly all world-class software, ranging from the leading Web browsers to mission-critical corporate applications, is built using the Visual C++ .NET development system. Visual C++ .NET 2003 brings a new level of productivity to C++, without compromising flexibility, performance, or control. View product information, including case studies, news and reviews, system requirements, and information on how to obtain Visual C++ .NET 2003.

Visual J#

Visual J# .NET 2003 is a powerful tool for Java-language developers who want to build applications and services on the Microsoft .NET Framework. Visual J# .NET 2003 targets the new .NET Framework version 1.1, is fully integrated with Visual Studio .NET 2003, and provides added support for building Mobile Web applications.

Visual SourceSafe

Visual SourceSafe is the ideal version control system for any development team using Microsoft Visual Studio .NET. Historically, problems within the team development environment stem from the inability to work comfortably in a setting sensitive to their projects and source code.

Visual Studio 2005

Visual Studio 2005 will introduce a wave of productivity enhancements designed to assist all members of the software development team. These virtual labs are based on pre-release versions of Visual Studio 2005, and deliver a sneak-peak of what's coming!

Web Services

Web Services represents a new platform on which developers can build the same distributed applications they've always built, but this time with interoperability as the highest priority.

Windows XP Service Pack 2

Microsoft Windows XP is built on an enhanced Windows 2000 code base, with different versions aimed at home users and business users: Windows XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional.

TechNet Virtual Labs


Learn how to take advantage of key features of Exchange Server 2003. This lab provides exploration of the Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange management packs and walk-through server configurations. In addition, you'll explore antispam and SMTP security features, migration from Exchange Server 5.5, disaster recovery and more.

ISA Server

In this virtual lab, you'll experiment with ISA's advanced application-layer firewall, VPN, and Web cache solution. Gain exposure to new features in ISA 2004 and learn more about securing Exchange Server with ISA. The enhanced security of the virtual lab's sandbox environment provides the resources you need for testing ISA's newest features.

Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2005

Familiarize yourself with deploying Live Communications Server in our set of virtual labs. Topics covered include: deploying in a single forest, single domain topology, enabling federation, enabling remote access, and deploying Live Communications Server archiving service.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003

Get first-hand deployment experience through the Virtual Lab series. The Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 hands-on labs will teach you how to set up the portal, organize content on the portal, manage user permissions, create Web Parts for custom tasks, and much more.

Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005

Take advantage of key features of Microsoft Active Directory and SQL Server management packs as well as new features of MOM 2005. This virtual lab allows you to experiment with managing Exchange and Active Directory and Monitoring SQL Server with MOM 2005 in the enhanced security of a sandbox environment.

Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003

Test the capabilities of SMS 2003 in the sandbox environment of this virtual lab. Experiment with and learn more about SMS 2003 and Microsoft Active Directory integration, patch management, security updates, Office deployment and configuration of SMS for hardware and software asset inventory and usage.


Improve the planning and management of your organization's security strategy with the help of this virtual lab. Familiarize yourself with and test security features of products such as Exchange Server 2003, Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server and Windows Server 2003, and tools including Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) and Software Update Services (SUS).

SQL Server

Make use of all SQL Server has to offer. This lab provides walk-throughs that will enable you to take advantage of SQL Server Reporting Services by gaining familiarity with the Report Wizard and Report Designer. In addition, you'll explore the management and delivery of reports generated via SQL Server Reporting Services.

Windows Server 2003

In this virtual lab, you'll have the opportunity to road-test new and improved features and functionality of Windows Server 2003, including performance, management, and usability enhancements to Microsoft Active Directory. In addition, hands-on labs provide guidance in scripting, Rights Management Services (RMS) and more.