Tools towards .NET management

In his

post about the coming year
Tim Sneath gives his
list of hurdles that he thinks must be addressed in order to
achieve critical adoption of .NET:

  1. Reducing the learning curve for those new to the .NET
    world, by providing better help, more powerful wizards and tools
    and supporting the complete software development
  2. Making it easier for existing applications (particularly
    those written in ASP and Visual Basic “Classic”) to be migrated
    across to the .NET world.
  3. Providing tools and guidance to IT Professionals to help
    them deploy and manage the .NET Framework and associated

From my experience in 2003, the third one is the most important.
There is already momentum behind teaching people about .NET (it
started way before it was even fully released) and there is already
effort in the migration area. What I found most, though, was that
while developers are starting to come to terms with the new world
of .NET, support staff and IT managers are still pretty much in the
dark. Where IT departments might have developed pretty clear
strategies for deploying and maintaining applications written in,
say, ASP, when it comes to ASP.NET they are faced with new
challenges that they are unprepared for. For example, how many
people know the ins and outs of the files and folders that are
written when an ASP.NET application is running. Have you seen the
impact an incorrectly configured virus scan can have when all the
temporary ASP.NET assemblies are continually scanned?

So I say a significant focus through 2004 should be pointed
towards building documentation about best practices for the
deployment and management of .NET (and in particular) ASP.NET
applications for busy IT departments.