TechReady is an internal conference for Microsoft employees that packs a huge amount of presentations, training, labs, and a few parties into a single week. It's similar to TechEd except that it focuses primarily on future products instead of what is currently shipping. As such, on the infrastructure side this one is focused on Longhorn, Office 2007, Exchange 2007, etc. I'll be attending as many sessions as I can on AD and all the 2007 servers. Check back this week as I'll try to get a post or two in each day with any info I'm able to publish

I came out to Seattle early, arriving yesterday so that I could attend a full day of training on Rights Management Service (RMS) which is a server and client technology available today for Windows Server 2003 and Office which allows you to protect email and office documents with both encryption and restrictions on the actions you can perform on the protected content. Some of the most powerful examples are:

  • Restrict a sensitive email by setting a "Do not forward" policy on that message
  • Conserve resources by setting a "Deny Reply to All" policy that prevents  users from replying to all on a message sent to a large DL
  • Set an "expiration" on a document preventing it from being viewed after a certain date

There are many other possibilities with this technology. The key differentiator from traditional security mechanisms such as access control lists is that in the case of RMS, the security restrictions are part of the document or message itself and thus effective even if the document has propagated outside the organization.

Efforts are currently under way to extend this technology to better support extranet and federation scenarios. I'll be attending several sessions this week on RMS.