Här kan man läsa historien bakom Zero Touch Provisioning…
In early 2003, Tony, a Director in Microsoft Services who branded Zero Touch, asked Brandon and I to review a prototype tool in development called DEAPS and determine if it was viable as a self-service provisioning application for an outsourcer. It was built on ASP.NET web interface posting to BizTalk Server 2002 orchestrations. Each workflow was an independent orchestration and required someone to know BizTalk to change operations. The UI was nice with a custom delegation model, but the engine didn’t take advantage of our new (then, soon to ship) platform technologies, like WSS, Authorization Manager, BizTalk Rules Engine, and Human Workflow Services. Ultimately, we decided that it didn’t meet the needs of a generic Provisioning engine. So, we began working on a design for a new Provisioning engine, to be called Zero Touch Provisioning (ZTP), that could be used to help an outsourcer manage desktops and reduce helpdesk costs. We began by prototyping on the BizTalk Server 2004 beta. Then, we created a conceptual design and formal scope. We planned to ship a version with the BDD Solution team in conjunction with Zero Touch Install (ZTI) around Q2-2004. In Q4-2003, we took our grandiose plans to Redmond to talk with both the MIIS team and IDM Solutions team to integrate BizTalk with MIIS and provide more scenarios on the same engine. We were told “no thanks” by the MIIS team, they hoped to ship MIIS 2003 and then a workflow engine soon after, and “maybe” by the IDM Solutions team, who hoped to provide a workflow solution as well. We also talked with the BizTalk Server team, who was excited by our use of HWS, but we ended up not working with any of them. MS Services had a customer and a core scenario that matched a scenario from the BDD team, so we were still planning on publicly shipping. We worked on ZTP from Q4-2003 through Q1-2004 to deploy the alpha release at our customer in March 2004. After demonstrating the core functionality at a customer, we went back to the various product (MIIS, BizTalk, SMS) teams to discuss another public release vehicle by adding more scenarios. Ironically, we couldn’t convince the product teams to invest in integration across our server platform. At this point, we needed funding (MS Services doesn’t work for free, even for internal projects) and the BDD team began paying for 1 persons time. This allowed Brandon to stay focused on ZTP. I continued to work for free for a while and eventually got funding from another source within MS. Due to SP1 and OSD, the BDD team slipped to Q3-2004, so Brandon got some quality time to fix issues. In July 2004, it was decided that we’d demonstrate and launch ZTP (in beta) at the MS global training event. Brandon and I worked feverishly on a killer demo and mediocre hands on lab. We packed our small room and generally impressed (and confused) the audience. Now, we were publicly committed to shipping this thing with the BDD team. We’d already been working 12+ hour days for months, but from August to November, we stopped sleeping and worked a minimum of 16 hours per day, often working for 36 hours straight. Honestly, neither of us remember sleeping, but we must have. Thankfully, the BDD team slipped again to Q4-2004. Our district had won a sales award, so we both did take a few days vacation to Hawaii. We released ZTP build 220.127.116.11 on October 29th 2004. We made a couple small updates (defaults, setup, spelling) to release 18.104.22.168-E with the BDD team in November 2004. Then, I got to go to IT Forum to create a ZTP demo for Bill Gates to launch OSD, BDD, and ZTP. Since then, I’ve trained and assisted people around the world (from MCS, Premier, MS IT, partners, and customers).
ZTP was born because two guys from MS Services had the sheer will to make it happen (with the help of many people, like Eddie, Graham, Mike, and Tony along the way). Funnily, it’s almost been a year since we released, and MIIS still hasn’t shipped any workflow (2 years since our first conversation), HWS has become something else, and we have multiple customers around the world using ZTP in different capacities. However, I still can’t convince our server product teams to invest in integration across our server platform using BizTalk. And, we still don’t have MIIS integration as a free download. Different teams may try to take the credit for our vision and deviate from MS Services, but it started here first with a bold Services Director betting on two techie Consultants.