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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Announces Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP #1

Microsoft Announces Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP #1

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The new Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP 1 provides Windows administrators with updated tools to more easily manage Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, and the upcoming Windows 8 platforms. This framework has 3 main components: Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation), and WinRM (Windows Remote Management). The framework is already included for testing in the developer's preview of Microsoft Windows 8. Previous versions of Windows are not supported, nor is the IA64 edition of Windows Server 2008 R2.

PowerShell 3.0 will introduce several new key technologies including workflows, robust sessions, scheduled jobs, and delegated administration. Workflows enable the administrator to create tasks that can run either in sequence or in parallel across multiple computers at the same time. Robust sessions enable the user to connect to a remote machine, start the execution of commands, and disconnect. The commands continue to execute on the remote machine, and the user can reconnect from their client machine at a later time to monitor status or retrieve results. Jobs can now be scheduled to operate at a future time or on a regular schedule. The results of the jobs are stored in a per-user repository for later review in a Windows PowerShell session.

The CTP introduces several new features in WMI that will bring about some big changes. It no longer has a dependency on COM, simplifying development. Accordingly, PowerShell cmdlets may now be written in native code (C/C++). The new version also introduces a new management infrastructure (MI) client API that allows for Windows-based applications to manage non-Windows computers. This new API is available for both C/C++ and .NET.

The infrastructure for WinRM has received several changes. Beyond robust session support, Microsoft claims the network connections themselves are more tolerant of communication failures and intermittent communication problems. If network communication problems persist, the remote session is able to continue operating while the client disconnects. When the problems are resolved, the remote user can utilize the robust session features to reconnect.

Readers intending to experiment with this release should be aware that it is still considered to be in active development (hence the CTP moniker) and thus unsuitable for a production setting. Based on the Windows 7 SP1 platform used by the author, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 is required. (Contrary to the documentation, the author that found that the package does not install without the Framework installed.)

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