Today we are releasing the Technical Preview 2 of the IIS Admin Pack, it is an update of the release we made on February.

Install the Admin Pack and Database Manager today!

Admin Pack (x86):  http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&i=1682&g=6

Database Manager (x86):  http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&g=6&i=1684

Admin Pack (x64): http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&i=1683&g=6

Database Manager (x64):  http://www.iis.net/downloads/default.aspx?tabid=34&g=6&i=1685

New Features:

There are a lot of interesting features we've added to almost every component for this release:

Database Manager

  1. Specify your own Connections. We heard during TP1 that it was a very important feature to specify your own database connection information without us automatically reading them from Connection Strings, with TP2 now you can do it. We've also added a switch that allows administrators the ability to disable this feature in case they have concerns and want to still enforce the "only read the connectionStrings from config" functionality and prevent users from trying to add their own.
  2. Extensibility. In these release we are making the API's public to write your own Database Provider that allows you to plugin your own database and reuse all of our UI and remoting, all you need to do is implement a few functions (CreateTable, DeleteTable, InsertRow, DeleteRow, etc) and your provider will be ready to use remotely over HTTPS to manage your own DB.
  3. Support for MySQL. In the upcoming weeks we will be releasing support for MySQL using the extensibility model mentioned above.
  4. Small things. New Toolbar in the Connections Panel to simplify discovery of commands
  5. Use of SMO. In this release we are using SQL Server Management Objects for all the schema manipulation, this means that things like "scripts exported from SQL inluding 'GO statements' and others will work in the Query window"

Configuration Editor

  1. Choose where Configuration is read: now allows you to specify where you want to read and write your configuration from. This feature is great for advanced users that really understand the inheritance of our distributed configuration system and want to take advantage of it. Now ehen you go to a site, application or anywhere else, you will by default have the same experience where we read configuration from the deepest configuration path, however, now you can use the "From:" Combo box and tell us where you really want to read the configuration from, for example the following image shows how the options look like for a folder underneath Default Web Site. As you can see now you can choose if you want to use locationPath's or go directly to the web.config. This plays really nice with locking allowing you to lock items for delegated users, but still be able to change things yourself pretty easily. This change also works with script generation so now when you generate your scripts you can customize where to read/write configuration.
  2. Lots of small things:Now, all the changes you perform will be show bolded untill you commit them. Enhanced the locking functionality to better reflect when attributes/elements are locked. Several minor bug fixes for script generation, collections without keys, etc.

IIS Reports

  1. No longer depends on LogParser. TP1 was using LogParser for parsing logs. This version no longer uses LogParser which menas no additional installs for this. We also measured performance and we see an increase of up to 40% which means faster reports. (In my machine for logs of up to 6.4GB or 17 million rows it takes about 2 minutes to generate a report, wee see about 5-7 seconds for 1 million rows)
  2. Better Reports. We took a look at the set of reports and we extended the list of reports as well as added new filters for them, for example, the status code report now lets you drill down and see which URL's generated a particular Status code, etc.
  3. Export to CSV and XML.
  4. Extensibility: For this release just as for DBManager we've made the API's of the UI public so that you can extend and add your own set of reports by writing a class derived from either TableReportDefinition or ChartReportDefinition. This means that just by overriding a method a returning a DataTable, we will take care of the formatting, adding a Chart and letting your users export in HTML, MHTML, CSV, XML, etc.

 UI Extensions

  1. Bug fixes for all the features like Request Filtering, FastCGI, ASP.NET Authorization Rules, and ASP.NET Error Pages.

As you can see the extensibility is a big theme now, and in my following posts I will be showing how to extend both IIS Reports as well as DBManager.