Network Device Management
Applies To: Windows Server 2008
Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 can automatically detect and configure network-connected devices. When a computer running the Windows operating system receives a broadcast announcement from a new device on the network, Windows can install the appropriate device drivers for that network device. Alternatively, a Windows client computer can send queries to the network, to which appropriately configured devices can respond.
The following is a list of the managed entities that are included in this managed entity:
Plug and Play Extensions (PnP-X) provides the same experience for network connected devices as Plug and Play does for directly connected devices. It allows your computer to discover and connect to network devices on your subnet, and allows PnP-X-enabled devices to broadcast their presence on a subnet. PnP-X is one of the protocols supported by the Function Discovery capabilities of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
Function Discovery provides a uniform programmatic interface for enumerating system resources, such as hardware devices, whether they are local or connected through a network. Applications can use Function Discovery to discover which functions the computer can perform, regardless of the underlying device or software architecture.
Function Discovery supports an extensible discovery provider model. The providers included in the system provide an abstraction layer over existing standards such as Plug and Play (PnP), Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP), WS-Discovery, and the registry. Independent hardware vendors can also create custom providers to expose new device types through Function Discovery.