Microsoft is stepping up its attempts to be seen as a valid player in the enterprise space by building a container for its own and third party systems management tools. The aim is to improve the administration of Windows NT-based environments.
The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) will act as a 'tools host' for so-called 'snap-ins' or third party tools, written to Microsoft?s application programming interfaces (APIs).
The software giant is rewriting all its NT-based administration tools to become snap-ins too.
Kirstin Wiley, Microsoft?s Back Office product manager, said: ?The beauty of MMC is that administrators can create a best-of-breed management environment that is targeted to their needs. They simply buy the tools they need to do the job and plug them in as snap-ins. For ISVs, this also gives them the ability to integrate their tools seamlessly with other ones, which extends the value of their products.?
She added that MMC could not only act as a centralised management console for the enterprise, but could also launch applications, managed by other consoles such as Hewlett-Packard?s Openview, from an MMC menu.
However, unlike other consoles, the product is protocol independent because it is the individual snap-ins that support the relevant protocols, she continued.
The product will also be able to link to a Web administration tool for NT Server that will enable users to remotely administer NT from an HTML-based browser when they are off-site. This tool is currently at the pre-alpha stage of development.
MMC is also currently in pre-alpha, but will be integrated into Windows NT 5.0, which is due to go into beta in the first half of this year. Although packaging has not yet been decided, it will be designed to work against NT 4.0 and later.
While Microsoft released a CD with the necessary APIs and development tools to ISVs at its Professional Developers Conference in November, it declined to name interested parties.
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