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October 7, 2003

"Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000": Serving Up Sanity-Saving Solutions

Sebastopol, CA--Anyone who deploys, administers, or automates Active Directory--Microsoft's trademarked directory service for organizing and managing user information and permissions on a network--knows that it's both critical and complex, and that it can be time-consuming and troublesome. The ideal companion to O'Reilly's highly acclaimed "Active Directory," the new Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 (O'Reilly, US $44.95) by Robbie Allen serves up hundreds of sanity-saving solutions to the inevitable day-to-day challenges of implementing and maintaining an Active Directory environment.

A staggering amount of print and online information about Active Directory is already widely available, admits Cookbook author Robbie Allen, from lengthy introductory and reference texts to design guides, books that focus on migration, and programming tomes. Microsoft provides extensive documentation both online and even within the operating system itself; and detailed web sites and online communities exist to support Active Directory administrators. If they're so inclined, programmers can indeed wade through this vast sea of books, white papers, and online material--and possibly even find some answers to their most burning Active Directory questions.

Or they can flip through this intuitively organized, solution-packed "how-to" book, dipping in here and there for exactly what they need when they need it. "Based on my own experience, hours of research, and years of hanging out on Active Directory newsgroups and mailing lists," reports Allen, "I've compiled more than 325 recipes that should answer the majority of 'How do I do X' questions one could pose about Active Directory." Distilled in one accessible, task-oriented volume, his in-depth knowledge of how Active Directory works and his many years' worth of practical experience with real-world installations will solve problems, simplify processes, and--perhaps best of all--save time for both new and seasoned Active Directory administrators, developers, and programmers.

Each of Allen's no-fuss, no-fail recipes performs a specific Active Directory task by outlining a common (or not-so-common) problem, delivering a step-by-step solution using just the right ingredients (readily accessible, standard tools), offering valuable background information and thoughtful but concise discussion, and suggesting additional resources should readers need further support. Readers learn not only what (and what not) to do but also how and why it works, so they are then equipped to adapt the same problem-solving techniques to similar situations they may encounter. And as with all good recipes, these are adaptable to specific needs, resources, and tastes: whenever appropriate, there are up to three applicable solutions per recipe, using graphical user interface (GUI), command-line interface (CLI), and scripting language (VBScript or Perl).

Divided among convenient categories such as users, groups, computers; forests, domains, and trusts; global catalogs and Flexible Single Master Operations (FSMOs); organizational units; group policy objects (GPOs); and schema, this Cookbook addresses problems programmers are likely to face on a daily basis--including recipes for dealing with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), multi-master replication, Directory Information Tree (DIT) maintenance, Group Policy, the Active Directory Schema, and many other oft-confusing but powerful features. It also thoroughly covers site topology, replication, backups, security, and interaction with other key facilities such as the Domain Name Service and Kerberos authentication service.

Destined to become a coffee-stained, dog-eared, and sticky-tabbed fixture beside a programmer's keyboard, the "Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000" helps users enjoy all the performance and sophistication they've come to expect from Windows and Active Directory with the simplicity and efficiency of administration their busy schedule and bottom line has come to demand.

Additional Resources:

Active Directory Cookbook for Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000
Robbie Allen
ISBN 0-596-00464-8, 593 pages, $44.95 US, $69.95 CA, 31.95 UK
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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