Change Tracking – Preface and Reasoning

ISA2006 SP1 contains several features and enhancements to ISA2006. If you’re not familiar with it, head over to the official SP1 document on the download page or to Tom Shinder’s article. And definitely download and try it!

One of the major features is Change Tracking. In the coming days, I intend to post several posts about this feature. I expect to cover:
• Security
• Deployment (particularly remote management)
• The log, and management via scripts
• The viewer, and modifying it to suit your needs
• And more…
If you have any additional questions, wonderings, etc about it, please post a comment below and I’ll try to cover them (no promises).

See all posts in the series

Disclaimer: The information and code samples provided in the coming blog posts are not officially supported by Microsoft. They are tested to work in ISA2006 SP1, but may not work in future products.

And today,

Change Tracking – Reasoning
Anyone supporting computer users is familiar with the following dialog:

Support guy: What was the last thing you did before X stopped working?
User: Nothing!
 – or –
User: I don’t know.

This is the main problem Change Tracking aims to solve: It lets the poor support guy know exactly what changed, when, and by whom. It can easily shorten the discussion:

Support guy: Let me see… it says here that 7 days ago, someone called domain\John changed the listener port. Does that ring a bell?
User: Oh, right, John was doing something in there, let me see… (talks with John in the background) OK, I understand now. Thank you!
Support guy: You’re welcome.

Note that “support guy” can a Microsoft support engineer, a vendor selling ISA-based products, a VAR (Value-Added Reseller), a consultant, etc. It can also be the ISA administrator that made the change himself a few weeks earlier (in which case, the above dialog is a bit weird).

Of course, one can think of other uses as well. If you have any, comment away.


-Jonathan Barner, ISA Sustained Engineering Team

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