From The Editor

In this issue of TechNet Magazine, we are taking an in-depth look at two key products that our readers use at work every day: SQL Server and Exchange Server. Even the smallest companies need to store and track data, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t use messaging as a vital part of its daily business.

The big story for each of these products is that there are new releases that will make your job more interesting over the next several months. SQL Server 2005 was released to huge fanfare in November, after an extensive beta process. Exchange Server 2003 also received a major update in the form of Service Pack 2 (SP2). Though this update did not receive the same intense press coverage as the SQL Server launch, SP2 should be considered a critical upgrade for most organizations running Exchange Server.

If you’re a DBA, or if you have a DBA in your life, you’ve probably heard all about SQL Server 2005. It’s an updated version of what I consider perhaps the most solid software ever created, and as such it has big shoes to fill. This new version definitely presents its own set of challenges—to make full use of its features, you’ll have to overhaul how you use data—but it will reward you with an improved, more powerful workflow.

In this issue we discuss what SQL Server 2005 has to offer, with an in-depth look at some of its major features and how these features improve performance, scalability, and security. SQL Server 2000 was not lacking in any of these areas—a quick look at TPC results bear this out. But there are even more capabilities built into SQL Server 2005, making it important to understand the potential benefits of the upgrade.

Before you start to take advantage of SQL Server 2005, you have to prepare your organization for the upgrade. We advise you to plan your migration well in advance, and get your current installations in order before flipping the switch. We show you how to prepare your own site for the upgrade, and we look at how Microsoft migrated its gigantic SAP installation from running atop SQL Server 2000 to the new version.

Now suppose you’re not a DBA. Messaging is your thing. Exchange Server 2003 SP2 has some new features that make it quite appealing. In this issue we look at the anti-spam capabilities in SP2, as well as some of the new mobility features it provides. (Direct Push, here we come!) We also guide you through the Exchange Best Practices Analyzer, so you can make sure your messaging system is properly tuned.

Finally, we have introduced some regular columns to our lineup. The always-popular Scripting Guys will be discussing, well, scripting. Our Legal Briefs column advises you on what to do when your data is breached. Our new Toolbox column, written by Greg Steen, is a hands-on guide to third-party products that will help you do your job. And in Security Watch, Microsoft Tech•Ed favorite Jesper Johansson tells you how and why to get rid of the built-in administrator account on your machines.

We’ve got an inside look at how moved to 64-bit servers. Our popular Utility Spotlight highlights a WMI code creator tool. And we look at application pools in IIS 6.0, the Volume Shadow Copy Service, POP3, and more!

If you’re reading this on the Web, why not get your own copy printed on luxurious, glossy paper stock? TechNet Magazine is the perfect pick-me-up for the busy IT professional on a coffee break. We’re now a bimonthly publication, so there’s no time to waste. Subscribing is easy—just go to Subscribe to TechNet Magazine and follow the links.—J.T.

Thank you to the following Microsoft technical experts: Boris Baryshnikov, Jack Bennetto, Ilya Bukshteyn, Mihai Costea, Thomas Deml, Ketan Devudi, Clifford Dibble, Vishal Ghotge, Mike Hintze, Paul Limont, Claude Lorenson, Paul Luber, Maureen Magnotta, Michael Murgolo, Michael Raheem, Paul Randal, Steve Riley, Konstantin Ryvkin, Jeff Stucky, and Dean Tribble

Active Directory, ActiveSync, Excel, Microsoft, Microsoft Press, MS-DOS, MSDN, Outlook, PowerPoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, Visual SourceSafe, Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows NT, and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Other trademarks or trade names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Microsoft Corporation makes no representation or warranty, express or implied, with respect to any code or other information herein, and disclaims any liability whatsoever for any use of such code or other information.

© 2008 Microsoft Corporation and CMP Media, LLC. All rights reserved; reproduction in part or in whole without permission is prohibited.