mpp_hero_sm_2Have you ever been curious how Microsoft protocols such as SMB, CIFS, BITS, IPSEC, or NTLM work behind the scenes? Perhaps you are a Computer Science student, and you want to see how thing work in a commercially available Operating System, or perhaps you are a developer that works on a product that needs to interoperate with a Microsoft application or server platform.  You'll want to head over to the Microsoft Protocol Program website, where there are more goodies than you will know what to do with.

To give you a head start on the acronyms, you will be working with the Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP, for "server software that interoperates with Windows desktop operating systems") and Microsoft [Work Group] Server Protocol Program (WSPP, for "server software that interoperates with Microsoft Windows server and desktop operating systems to provide file, print, and user and group administration services").

You'll want to start with the [MS-DOCO]: Windows Protocols Documentation Roadmap that serves as a roadmap to the... um... documentation. 

Currently, protocol documentation is available for download from MSDN for the MCPP and WSPP programs. Access this documentation from:

In the following months, the MSDN Web site will provide access to the following protocol documentation:

  • 2007 Microsoft Office release
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2007
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008

You can also download the documentation as PDFs here:

Windows Communication Protocols (MCPP)

The Microsoft Communications Protocol Program (MCPP) technical documentation set provides technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary protocols that are implemented and used in Windows client operating systems (Windows 2000 Professional through Windows Vista) to interoperate natively with Windows Server operating systems (Windows NT 3.1 through Windows Server 2008).

Windows Server Protocols (WSPP)

The Work Group Server Protocol Program (WSPP) technical documentation set provides detailed technical specifications for Microsoft proprietary protocols and extensions that are implemented in Microsoft Windows Server work group server operating system software and that are used to deliver file & print and user & group administration services to Windows work group networks.