At this moment I am a little confused: when playing around with Longhorn server I encountered a couple of things:
When do you call something a role and hen is it called a feature: f.i. DNS server is a role, WINS server is a feature. They are both responsible for name resolution, they both register as a service. The latter is something you use for backwards compatibility, the former is the current technology. I think this may be the difference between the two names: roles vs feature. But I think this will cause some irritation in the beginning for some sysadmins. Where do I find the thing I am looking for, (OK, after a while you know your way around. It will be like the difference between NT 4.0 and windows 2000 where you could not find your way around and after a while you could not find your way around NT anymore or at least had to really think about it.)
Another thing I encountered was the following: while trying to install SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition (SSEE) I got the shown pop-up screen where it says that for SSEE I need to install Five other roles and features. when looking at the roles I have the idea that someone mistook the dependencies and implemented them the wrong way around. I know that i need SQL for Sharepoint, WSUS 3.0 looks for a certain version of SQL and if it is not there, It WILL take SSEE. but why do I need WSUS for SSEE… AFAIK NOT.
When looking for the “dependant” roles and features I do not see them, they are definitely not there. So it looks like some intern got hold of a list with dependencies, misunderstood it, and had to develop just the UI for this part of the install(MessageBox.Show(MyMessage, “Add Features Wizard”, MessageBoxButtons.YesNo)), whereas the person who had to develop the “real” installation, knew what he was doing.
The other thing I do not like is the way the dependency pop-ups are displayed: When installing al Role the pop-up is displayed like this. I do not know how much more code this is in relation to the above messagebox, but I like my interfaces to look the same everywhere.
Let’s hope the answer Of Microsoft will be: it is still a beta product, we are working on it.