Microsoft will take yet another stab at Netscape this week when it finally releases Internet Information Server version 3.0, which it hopes will become the most widely used commercial Web server on the Internet.
IIS version 3.0 has a range of new features, including support for Active Server pages and Internet Studio, a development tool for building Active Server Web applications. The server also supports the ActiveX Database Object, for linking to ODBC databases. This allows database-defined data types, including binary large objects, to be dynamically incorporated in Web pages. Webmasters can then generate pages on the fly, by combining components of pages stored on a database. The databases supported include Microsoft?s own SQL Server plus rivals from IBM, Oracle and Borland.
Users of Windows NT version 4.0 can download IIS 3.0 free from the Internet at http://www.microsoft.com/iis/.
Microsoft has also announced an Internet certification programme for Web server managers, which will qualify them to install, configure, manage and support Microsoft Internet-related server products. The new credential, called MCPS: Internet Systems, is part of the existing Microsoft Certified Product Specialist scheme and will require three exams to be passed. These cover implementing and supporting NT Server 4.0 and Internet Information Server, plus internetworking Microsoft TCP/IP on NT 4.0.
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