How-to Microsoft

Windows Phone 7 – Application Submission and Certification Process

When your application is developed and ready for publication, it must go through the certification process before it is eligible for listing in the Windows Phone Marketplace.

The certification process involves static validation and automated testing of the application to verify that it meets all the policies and requirements. A Simplified Illustration of the Windows Phone 7 Application Submission and Certification Process is shown below.

This Document provides the policies and technical requirements that a Windows Phone 7 Application or Game must meet to pass certification and to be eligible for listing in Windows Phone Marketplace.

For further information on Documentation and Softwares for Developing for Windows Phone 7 Series, Read this article

How-to Microsoft

Free ebook – Windows PowerShell v2: The Administrator Crash Course

Microsoft is adding PowerShell to more and more products, and going forward, the company’s plan is to incorporate PowerShell throughout all of its business products as a baseline administrative layer.

The Administrator Crash Course: Windows PowerShell v2For windows administrators who are new to PowerShell, Microsoft MVP Don Jones offers a new book from Realtime Publishers entitled The Administrator Crash Course: Windows PowerShell v2. Covering the most crucial elements of PowerShell v2, Don has constructed a set of practical tips and practice exercises that will get you up to speed in a matter of weeks. Each course section is designed to be reviewed in under an hour, so it’s a perfect way to quickly learn how to begin using PowerShell v2!

Download this Free ebook Guide to start your learning with PowerShell.

If you’re ready to get started in PowerShell, and have no experience, this is the crash course for you!

Note: You will need to create a profile in Realtime Nexus (The Digital Library for IT Pros) when you click the above link.

Courtesy: Realtime Nexus Windows Administration

You would also be interested in downloading these e-books:

If you are interested in some more Free Books/Magazines –

IT – Software & Development – Ebooks / White Papers from TradePubBrowse through this extensive list of free IT – Software & Development magazines, white papers, downloads and podcasts to find the titles that best match your skills; topics include web development, programming, software design and application software. Simply complete the application form and submit it. All are absolutely free to professionals who qualify. – Browse through the collection here

msigeek has joined hands with to offer you a new, exciting, and entirely free professional resource. Visit us today to browse our selection of complimentary IT-related magazines, white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Try it today!

General Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Windows Server 2008 R2 Feature Components and Hyper-V Architecture – Poster

Windows Server 2008 R2 Feature Components – This poster provides a visual reference for understanding key technologies in Windows Server 2008 R2. It focuses on Active Directory Domain Services, Hyper-V, Internet Information Services, Remote Desktop Services (including Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)), BranchCache, and DirectAccess technologies. In addition, updates to core file services and server management are illustrated.

Download the Windows Server 2008 R2 Feature Components Poster Here [pdf  document]

Hyper-V Component Architecture – The Hyper-V poster is a great visual tool to help in the understanding of the key features and components. It highlights key Hyper-V components including, Architecture, Virtual Networking, Virtual Machine Snapshots, Live Migration, Storage Interfaces, Storage Types, Storage Location and Paths, & Import and Export.

Download the Hyper-V ComponentArchitecture Poster here [pdf  document]

This large-format poster provides practical visual depictions of the Windows Hypervisor, live migration process, cluster shared volumes architecture, VMQ data paths, disk storage I/O path, and much more.

General Microsoft

Microsoft Training for End Users – Productivity and Learning Hub

Microsoft has developed the Productivity Hub to help support your ongoing end user training efforts in your organisations. The Hub is a SharePoint Server 2007 site collection that serves as a learning community and is fully customizable. It provides a central place for your training efforts, and includes training content from Microsoft’s core products. Microsoft also provides ongoing and updated content packs.

The Hub uses SharePoint Server’s social networking capabilities, such as blogs and discussion groups. In addition, it offers the Coach program, a change management feature to help you train end users to self-help, reducing the burden on your training and IT staff. The Coach program impacts productivity in a collaborative and positive way.

What the Productivity Hub is:

  1. Format: Pre-loaded SharePoint site collection, optimized for Web 2.0 functionality and easily deployed within SharePoint Server 2007 environment.
  2. Content: Convenient end user productivity training in a variety of formats (documents, videos, podcasts, etc.). Receive free quarterly updates of content that you will learn about through the Productivity blog.
  3. Blog: The Productivity blog offers tips and tricks for end user productivity. Use it as is, or your training staff can use the posts as their own to help them get started in running an internal blog.
  4. Train the trainer: Includes IT/Manager section to aid with deployment of the site collection, and guidance to develop the Coach program.
  5. Products: Office 2007 System applications, SharePoint Server 2007, Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 8.

You can also download additional content packages that expand the training materials you can make available through the Hub.  The Productivity Hub can be accessed here!

Also read –

  1. Download Windows 7 Training Kit For Developers
  2. Free Silverlight 4 Programming and Training Kit Available for Download
  3. Microsoft Help and Training – Get Technical Resources with the Desktop Player
  4. Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 Guides / How To Tutorials
  5. How to make Windows 7 Deployment Easy? – Effective Guides
How-to Microsoft

Download Windows 7 Training Kit For Developers

Windows 7 LogoThe Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is based on Windows 7 RTM and it is designed to help you learn how to build applications that are compatible with and shine on Windows 7 by utilizing key Windows 7 features such as Taskbar, Libraries, Multi Touch, Sensors and Location, Ribbon, Trigger Start Services, Instrumentation and ETW.

And Application Compatibility topics such as Version Checking, Installer Detection, UAC Data Redirection, User Interface Privilege Isolation,  Session 0 Isolation and High DPI.

Download the Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers here (Courtesy – MSDN)

System Requirements

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7
  • Windows 7 SDK
  • Visual Studio 2008
  • Windows Code Pack API for .NET Framework
  • Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 (or higher)

Also read – Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 Guides / How To Tutorials

General Microsoft

Ebook – Strategies for Cloud Storage, Data Protection, and Disaster Recovery

In The Essentials Series: Strategies for Cloud Storage, Data Protection, and Disaster Recovery book, IT author and strategist Don Jones examines the new approaches and capabilities offered by cloud storage and cloud-based data protection solutions. He offers a look at these solutions’ challenges, and outlines specific considerations that businesses have to keep in mind when using them. Finally, he provides a framework for basic storage strategies that incorporate cloud technologies, positioning you to begin researching a solution that truly meets your business needs.

CloudThis ebook contains the following articles,

  1. What Can Cloud Storage Really Do For You?
  2. Challenges and Special Considerations for Cloud Storage
  3. Leveraging the Cloud for Storage and Disaster Recovery: Three Practical Strategies

Download the complete ebook today!

Note: You will need to create a profile in Realtime Nexus (The Digital Library) when you click the above link.

Courtesy: Realtime Nexus Alerts

If you want to understand the popular Cloud Computing stacks including Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine and Microsoft Windows Azure. These videos and ebook will give you an overview of Cloud Computing and Windows Azure – Check it out here

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General Google

How Secure is Google Apps for Enterprise?

Google Apps is a web-based suite of messaging and collaboration applications. It’s all hosted by Google, and designed with security and reliability in mind, saving your company the frustrations and hassles of managing traditional IT solutions yourself. 

“Well, How Secure is Google Apps??” I reckon, most of us ask this question whenever someone talks about the cost saving features and other capabilities Google Apps provide. Indeed, there is nothing wrong in worrying about the security of ‘your’ Data.  Also, with so many corporates Going Google, this question become a very valid one.

Google has released a white paper to give enterprise customers greater transparency into Google’s security practices, policies, and technology involving Google Apps.

Download the Google Apps security white paper to understand more [pdf format]

Google Team says, “Feeling comfortable storing data in the cloud involves trusting a cloud services provider and the practices and policies they have in place. In today’s ultra-connected, web-capable world, understanding how data will be protected is ultimately more meaningful than knowing it is physically located in one data center or another.”

Also, Google stores customer data in fragments across multiple servers and across multiple data centers to both enhance reliability and provide greater security than can be achieved by storing all data on a single server. When only fragments are kept in any one place, the chance that a possible physical or computer-based compromise could result in the loss of meaningful information is greatly reduced. Read more at the Official Google Enterprise Blog

If you are looking at Implementing Google Apps in your organization / your domain, I recommend you read The Google Apps Deployment Planning Steps and Use-Case Scenarios for more information!

You would also be interested to read –

How-to Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 Guides, How To Tutorials

Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit is a lifecycle management tool that assists in assessing compatibility issues in your overall application/device/computer portfolio.  This tool helps in,

  1. Gathering Inventory for software, hardware, and device assets
  2. Compatibility evaluation and Get Vendor Support Statements
  3. Recommendations for fixing applications
  4. Tools to apply compatibility fixes or “shims” to applications

The Application Compatiblity process can be easily defined in 3 Steps – Collect-Analyze and Mitigate.

To facilitate Readers/ People who plan their first steps towards Application Compatibility, I have written these 6 Part Series on various tools which are a part of the ACT. These articles will provide information on how to start the appcompat process in an organization (or even as an individual) and fix applications!

Application Compatibility Process (ACT 5.5)

Install and Setup the Application Compatibility Environment

This article will give you detailed instructions on how you can setup up the ACT 5.5 Environment, configure the Application Compatibility Manager and start the AppCompat Process. This is the first step towards solving Application Compatibility Issues with Windows 7.

Creating and Deploying a Data Collection Package (DCP)

In this article, we will look at how to Create and Deploy a Data Collection Package (DCP) to gather inventory for software, hardware, and device assets. This package will start the ACT Data Collector Service to monitor the machine State. You will also learn options to schedule the Data Collection.

How to Analyze the Application Reports Collected?

In this article, we will look at how to categorize and prioritize applications in the ACT report which we get from the Data Collection Packages. We will also look at how to send/receive reports to get hints and support from the Community on solving AppCompat Issues.

Testing your applications as a Standard User

During Develop / Deploy phase of an application, its very important to test the functionality of an app as a Standard User. Especially when the organization has a locked-down environment. Standard User Analyzer tool exactly helps you in this purpose!

Identify Website Issues with Internet Explorer Compatibility Test Tool

This Tool collects your Web-based issues from Internet Explorer 7 / Internet Explorer 8, uploads the data to the ACT Log Processing Service, and gives the details about discovered compatibility issues. It also provides you links for more information about each of this compatibility issues.

Creating Shims to Fix Broken Applications

This article explains the Compatibility Administrator tool which enables you to resolve many of your potential application compatibility issues. It also explains you on how to create customized compatibility fixes, modes, AppHelp messages, and compatibility databases.

Shims for Specific scenarios:

Do lemme’ know your comments and Thoughts.!

Microsoft Tools Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

Standard User Analyzer (SUA) – Tool to Test Applications

Many of us work with Applications; either we develop or deploy them! While doing so, its important to test the developed application as a Standard User. Especially when the organization has a locked-down environment or the New Generation Operating Systems with UAC.

This helps in understanding the application behavior better. Standard User Analyzer tool exactly helps you in this purpose! This tool is a part of the Application Compatibility Toolkit.

Step 1: Install the Application Compatibility Toolkit and Start the Standard User Analyser. You dont need to run this as administrator; you can just launch it.

Standard User Analyzer

The application launches as below,

Standard User Analyzer - Application Launches

If you are aware of the SysInternals Tools Filemon/Regmon, this tool pretty much does the similar job. When you launch an application, it will monitor all the files, registries, INI files modified, the name-spaces which the app calls, the credential Privilages Process calls etc. This will give a detailed analysis on how this application behaves as a standard user.

You also have an option to run the same application as an administrator user and compare these 2 reports. This can be done, by marking the checkbox “Elevate” in the Launch Options.

Step 2: In the Target application tab, browse to the executable which the application will be launching. In this example, it is StockViewer.exe. Click on the button Launch. (You can also specify any command line arguments / parameters for this executable)

Launch Executable in the Standard User Analyzer

This tool needs a pre-requisite “Application Verifier”. If you have not installed this application, you will get this below dialog. Download and install this app.

Application Verifier is designed specifically to detect and help debug memory corruptions and critical security vulnerabilities. This is achieved by monitoring a native application’s interaction with the Windows operating system, profiling its use of objects, the registry, the file system, and Win32 APIs (including heaps, handles, locks, etc), and indicating issues when and where they are discovered. Application Verifier also includes checks to predict how well an application may perform under various account privileges. You can download it here

Application Verifier

Once Application Verifier is installed, This will actually start monitoring your application usage.  You may also get this below warning message,

Warning Message

Step 3: Start your application which you want to monitor; you can perform all the operations which an end-user would do!

While this demo, i launched my application and found that this application asked for administrator rights while launching, and also gives some ‘access denied’ error. When I close this app, the Standard User Analyzer has fetched all the requirement information which the application has accessed.

Standard User Analyzer - Application Reports

These logs and reports will explain you on the application behavior. It will also help your developers to fix this application easily. Looking from the application Compatibility front, this tool also gives you an option which identifies the mitigations and provides you options to fix them.

Apply Mitigations

When you click on the Apply Mitigation, you will get the below dialog with the list of shims which would mitigate the issues identified.

Mitigations List

You can also export this mitigation as an msi, so that you can deploy the same using any deployment tools in your organization!

Best Practices How-to Microsoft

Microsoft Security Awareness Tools and Tips – Effective Guides

The Microsoft Security Awareness Toolkit provides guidance, sample awareness and training materials, checklists, templates, and examples from Microsoft IT to help security managers quickly build an awareness and training program that will achieve results.

The Effective Security Practices Whitepaper Series

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report

Provides an in-depth perspective on the changing threat landscape including software vulnerability disclosures and exploits, malicious software (malware), and potentially unwanted software.

The Microsoft Security Update Guide

Designed to help IT professionals better understand and use Microsoft security update release information, processes, communications, and tools.

Online Safety Toolkit for Enterprise and Organizations

This kit offers tools that you can use to help your employees learn the skills they need to work more safely on the Internet and better defend company, customer, and their own personal information

Microsoft SDL – Developer Starter Kit

This kit offers content, labs, and training to help you establish a standardized approach to rolling out the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) in your organization.

Privacy and Governance