Roughly a year after the first public Beta and half a year after the initial release of Version 1 a new version of the MDT Web FrontEnd is getting closer.
The new version will overcome a couple limitations of the first version plus it will get a whole bunch of new features. It’s still some work to do but I hope to have the first public Beta available at TechEd Europe 2010. If you would like to support me on this project please read the bottom of this post. As an appetizer here are some first impressions:
Theme based Design
The design is now completely separated from the data shown to the User. Pick one of the built-in themes or create your own (If you like to support this frontend with a new decent theme just jump to the bottom of this page. Yes, do it now!). Especially useful to adjust the look&feel to the CI of your company or if you are using several instances of the Web FrontEnd (Test / Production, etc.)
The MDT Web FrontEnd is now completely localized. Localization can be either fixed to a specific language or dynamically chosen. (If you would like to support this by translating all required strings into another language please jump to the bottom of this page).
Hierarchy of Roles
Roles can now also be added to Roles so you can create a complete Hierarchy of Roles. (Actually THE most often requested feature so far)
Define Locations by Active Directory Sites
On default MDT allows you define the location by Gateway. In larger environments this can become a tedious task and an often asked question is “why do I have to manage all those Gateways/Subnets again as I have them already defined for my AD Sites”. The new version of the MDT Web FrontEnd will now allow you to use Active Directory Sites instead of Gateways. It’s even possible to combine several AD sites into one location.
Pageable, sortable and filterable lists
Yes, the FrontEnd was lacking a couple default features everybody is used to these days. With the new version you get paging, sorting and filtering for almost any table.
Web service integration
The Deployment webservice will now be integrated into the MDT Web FrontEnd. So both can be administered the same way. The MDT part of the Deployment web service will now use the same code as the MDT Web FrontEnd.
The FrontEnd is now using the same logging provider that has already been added to the last major release of the Deployment Web service. This will give you more information on anything that happens including all actions.
The new version is now a lot faster especially if updating settings or if the Database server is remote to the web server.
There are a couple other features that still might make their way into this release while some parts are still subject to change as I wanted to take the opportunity of getting more feedback on the TechEd Europe before finalizing it.
As mentioned already, there are a couple ways you can support this project.
- If you have some decent “design” skills I would highly appreciate any help on adding a couple new themes. (Well decent means anything better than my skills and they are pretty bad at that area as everybody can see on the current screenshots ;-) )
- If you would like to have the FrontEnd supporting another language, it would be a great help if you could translate the default strings used by the FrontEnd. See MDT Web FrontEnd - Localization for more information on what languages are supported already (not that much by now)
- I really, really, really (!!!!!!) need help on keeping the documentation up-to-date. So far I wasn’t even able to finish the documentation for Version 1 so with Version 2 it’s probably not getting better. So if you want to give something back please spend some time and help to update and extend the documentation on CodePlex.
- If you have some “Must-Have” features that I didn’t mention yet, don’t hesitate to contact me.
- If you have solved some big problems or simply made some good experience on using the Web FrontEnd (or the Deployment Webservice ;-) ), don’t hesitate to blog about it. Good stories need to be told. In case you don’t want to publish it yourself, just send me some information about it and I will do it for you.
You can contact me either via CodePlex or simply send an email to Maik DOTTT Koster ATTT gmx DOTTT de. I will also attend the TechEd Europe 2010 in Berlin so you can catch me there and have a chat about anything you like.