At the IT-Forum we have these “Lightning Demo” sessions during lunchtime. The general idea is to do a short presentation combined with a enlightening demo in 25 minutes!! That definitely explains the frase “Lightning Demo”.
Today Matthew Boettcher, a former Hosting Evangelist (see my previous post on him), did such a session on the Microsoft Provisioning System. First let me explain what MPS is and what it can to in a hosted environment.
MPS is the engine that basically automates all your routine administrative service management tasks such as adding new users and provisioning them with applications and services. Sounds a little fuzzy? Let me explain. In a normal corporate environment when a you get a new colleague an admin goes to Active Directory Users and Computers and creates a new user. Then he tipically would put this user in the appropriate security groups to allow the usage of applications and resources. Create an Exchange Mailbox, create a profile etc, etc, etc. That’s a hell of lot mouse clicks. So MPS does that automatically for you! You most likely fill in the appropriate fields in a Control Panel (Webservice) that data will create an XML request that is parsed to the MPS Provisioning engine. This engine will extract the XML and brake it up in small XML files targeting different parts of the environment like AD, Exchange, IIS and so on. This is a transactional process so in case of bad vibe it is reversible. This means that your back in the system state where you started.
Try that with scripting 😉
However Matthew managed (with a reasonable amount of spectators, thanks guys) to create a new Business Organization, created an admin user for that Organization, created a normal user, created a IIS Website, an Isolated FTP site, a SharePoint Services site, whoeps we do need DNS records as well, so created a DNS zone, created A addresses for www, ftp and teamsite, Exchange enabled the Org, created a mailbox for the user, published content to the Website with FTP, showed the website as the actual result, connected with Outlook Web Access to prove the Exchange email functionality.
Still there? In 25 minutes I’m not kidding. I rest my case.
Any questions on MPS mail me.