Microsoft Visual Studio Team System 2008 is an integrated Application Life-cycle Management (ALM) solution comprising tools, processes, and guidance to help everyone on the team improve their skills and work more effectively together. Visual Studio Team System enables members of your team to:
Collaborate and communicate more effectively with other team members and business stakeholders.
Ensure software quality using advanced quality tools at every step of the application life cycle.
Gain visibility into project activity and priorities to make informed decisions based on real-time data.
2Add in Server OS: Windows Server 2003 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 ($349, 2 sockets) or Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced ($1249). For content delivery network services, Flash continues to charge a premium.
3Requires Windows Media Player.
Appendix 4: Top Features & Benefits of Windows Server 2008
Key benefits of Windows Media Services (WMS)2008 and Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 with Silverlight-based applications include:
Industrial Strength. Global Scale.
Proven Reliability. Windows Server 2008 is expected to improve on the five nines reliability of Windows Server 2003 to deliver a rock solid server platform that companies bet their businesses on.
Native 64-bit OS Support. Windows Media Services 2008 provides twice the industry-leading scalability of WMS 9.0,thanks to native 64-bit operating system support and new networking technologies built into Windows Server 2008.
Scalable Live Streaming. The combination of massive scalability and proven reliability make Windows Media Services 2008 the right choice for delivering large-scale live events to a global audience.
Fast Streaming. Windows Media Services 2008 can deliver instant-on/always-on streaming for broadband users and dramatic improvements in the streaming experience for all users. Fast Start and the newer Advanced Fast Start for WMS significantly reduce streaming buffering times to deliver near-television-like experiences when playing back content or switching between sources. For on-demand content, Advanced Fast Start also enables quick seeking within a WMS stream, allowing users to “seek” forward or backward instantly.
New Cache/Proxy Server plug-in. Included with Windows Media Services 2008, this plug-in allows a Windows Media server in a branch office or other remote location to easily split a single broadcast stream from the home office into multiple streams for local end users, reducing WAN traffic. Similarly, the caching functionality caches on-demand content streamed to the remote location (e.g., training videos) the first time it is viewed, and subsequent requests for that content are served from the local cache/proxy server.
Monetize Content. Cut Costs.
Streaming for Windows Web Server 2008. With the launch of Windows Server 2008, Windows Media Services 2008 is now available for the very affordable Windows Web Server 2008.
Bit Rate Throttling. The new IIS 7.0 Media Pack brings intelligence to progressive download media experiences by automatically detecting media file bit rates and metering how fast content is downloaded. Content delivery providers and hosts save on bandwidth costs. Simultaneously, network traffic is reduced, allowing for more concurrent connections per server.
Advertising for Streaming Content. A variety of advertising types, including bumpers, trailers, and interstitial ads, can be dynamic and personalized via integration with ASP.NET servers and client side playlists (.ASX). Windows Media Services 2008 provides the advanced usage logging necessary to ensure broadcasters can accurately and effectively track and report on advertisement reach.
Web Playlists. With the new IIS 7.0 Media Pack, protect the integrity of your premium content and advertising by delivering content using Web Playlists. Web Playlists can provide a custom playback experience while maintaining server-side control over your content.
Secure Content Delivery over SSL (Secure Socket Layer). SSL and progressive download with IIS 7.0 provide an industry-standard secure method of delivering Silverlight content such as video to end users.
Server Core installation. Windows Server 2008 provides a componentized installation option for Windows Media Services 2008. All unneeded components and services except for the components used for streaming are removed. This results in a minimized attack surface, more efficient use of system resources, and substantially reduced servicing for headless, dedicated streaming servers, giving them appliance-like performance and reliability.
Server Manager. Windows Server 2008 provides a one-stop interface for server configuration and monitoring. Server Manager is an addition to familiar options including Microsoft Management Console (MMC), Web, script, and command-line control; it allows general IT professionals to administer Web and streaming servers with a higher-level console consistent with other Windows server roles.
Scenario-based Wizards and Help. Windows Media Services 2008 makes it easy for non-media professionals to integrate streaming servers into their existing network.
HTTP protocol support. Both Windows Media Services 2008 and IIS 7.0 respectively provide consistent streaming and progressive downloading across Internet- and intranet- based routers, switches, and firewalls.
Powerful Object Model and Event Mechanism. Developers can choose from over 1,000 methods, interfaces, and properties for rich customization of the server. Combined with support for DCOM/WBEM/WMI and an extensive object model, Windows Media Services 2008 provides the most powerful platform for the development of customized streaming solutions.
Broad programming language support including .NET 2.0. Create plug-ins and custom server-based applications for event management, logging, authentication and more.
Appendix 5: Microsoft Expression Encoder 2
Expression Encoder is a powerful tool that enables content producers to enhance and encode live sources and file-based media for publishing with Microsoft Silverlight. Whether you are an interactive design studio looking to quickly post a new daily cut of your video project, an event manager who wants to produce a live conference, Expression Encoder fits a broad spectrum of workflows. [[
Here is a summary of new features in the Beta of Expression Encoder 2:
Cuts Editing. Make simple edits to clips directly in Expression Encoder. Cut out setup noise, mistakes or surprises from your video.
New VC-1 Codecs. Get better image quality and smaller files faster. Expression Encoder 2 includes the latest implementation of the VC-1 codecs.
Intelligent Encoding. Import existing WMV content, make edits. Expression Encoder will identify changes to the source file and only re-encode the modified sections of the file, not the entire clip, saving time and maintaining compression quality.
Animated Overlays. Add animated watermarks to your videos. Import a XAML animation and Encoder will embed the animation into the finished media.
Object Model. Use the new Expression Encoder Object model to control the encoding engine from other applications or services.
Scenarios Enabled by Expression Encoder include:
Expression Encoder 2
Desktop Video encoding for the Web. Examples include creating video dailies for viewing by clients or producers over the Web on a Mac or Windows-based PC. Live encoding and production of events can be distributed by Windows Media Services via a content delivery network or enterprise infrastructure. Encoded content can be targeted by inserting dynamic ads, captions, watermarking, or template-based publishing of media assets for a broadcaster supporting multiple brands.
Sample customers: Broadcasters, movie studios, radio stations, sports networks, entertainment portals, advertisers, corporate branding specialists, educators, and startups
Command line Option
Server-based Video Encoding. Examples include user-generated content sites where video is uploaded by users in a number of incompatible formats, or in post-production where media assets need to be encoded for publishing directly to the Web and a separate version for archiving. Encoding on multiple servers, combined with add-on hardware accelerators, diminishes turnaround time and keeps the media on a site fresh, current and ready to be monetized.
Sample customers: Broadcasters, movie studios, radio stations, sports networks, entertainment portals, user-generated content providers, advertisers, corporate/brand presence marketers, educators, and startups
Appendix 6: Top Features & Benefits of Expression Encoder
Key benefits of Expression Encoder for the content creative community include:
Robust file import support. Add AVI, QuickTime, MPEG and additional media formats into encoding projects. Expression Encoder 2 also supports DirectShow decoder plug-ins, enabling a broader range of media inputs.
Live Encoding. Stream media directly from professional camcorders and webcams. Multiple live sources can be mixed with file-based content in real time and published to Windows Servers running Windows Media Services for delivery. Live productions can be simultaneously archived for future on-demand delivery.
Command line control. Control the Expression Encoder 2 engine from the command line to encode libraries of media content as a batch process.
Expression-standard user experience. With a designer-friendly interface, video editors, web designers and producers can easily use a professional encoding application. Using codec and project presets, they can output a high-quality Silverlight experience without having to learn the science of video compression.
Expression Media integration. Easily search through a library of assets using Expression Media and drag and drop video to Expression Encoder 2 to encode the right clip at the right time.
Richer Media Enhancements
Pre-roll and Post-roll clips. Add media content such as station identification, advertisements, or credits to deliver content with context for your audience.
Watermarks. Add logos, graphics and animations to watermark video content, or to define or attribute media ownership.
Rich Metadata support. Add a wide range of standard metadata and customizable meta tags, including industry standards such as ISAN for asset tracking, search, and management.
Caption support. Use SAMI or Timed Text (DFXP) to synchronize text with media-enabling subtitles or captions in a Silverlight media experience.
DVD-style Navigation. Add chapters and bookmarks to media content, providing end users with choices for navigating through long-form content.
Image Adjustments. Crop, scale, de-interlace or remove pull down to deliver the best possible compressed output.
Publish Perfect Experiences
New WMC/VC-1 Encoding. Expression Encoder 2 features the latest VC-1 encoding capabilities. Generate the cleanest compressed content possible with improved performance and greater control over encoding settings.
Silverlight Template Support. Publish web-ready media content in a complete Microsoft Silverlight experience. Preview a media player skin, set the player's initial state, and encode—Expression Encoder will publish all the necessary files.
Cutting and Editing. Cut out sections from any media clip. Remove unwanted beginnings, middles or ends of clips to deliver the best content experience possible.
Intelligent Encoding. Cut and assemble WMV clips, and Expression Encoder 2 will render only the stitch points of the video, saving encoding time and maintaining source quality.
Publishing Plug-ins. Write custom publishing plug-ins for Expression Encoder to push encoded WMV files or Silverlight media experiences to your web server or hosting service.
A/B Compare. A/B Compare provides a quick preview of encoding output with a split-screen viewer to compare against the original. Play the comparison in real time to find the sweet spot when choosing between quality and file size.
Multi-core and Multiprocessor Optimized. The new VC-1 codecs support both multiple cores and multiprocessor encoding. If you still need more encoding horsepower, use the extra processing power of LSI Tarari encoding accelerator cards to improve quality or increase the volume of media encoded.
Job Presets. Every aspect of a job can be stored in a template and applied repeatedly to file after file to ensure the end user experience matches job after job.
We hope this guide has helped you review and evaluate the Microsoft Rich Client Platform from a media professional’s perspective.
As you review Microsoft Silverlight, please feel free to consult any of the many additional resources provided. More information Microsoft Silverlight, Expression Studio, Visual Studio, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Media can be found at the following locations:
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