Tom Shinder has a detailed article about the new features of Service Pack 3 for ISA Server 2004, Microsoft's gateway firewall. Some of them are really quite useful.

Latest posts by Michael Pietroforte (see all)

Improved log viewer: There is a new pane showing detailed information about each log entry. I always found it quite complicated to scroll to the left to view more details of an entry. Now, you just have to click on it to access all important information with one look.

Different colors for log entries: You can now specify the colors of log entries depending on their type. For instance, in the default color scheme, red means denied connections while green means allowed connections. If you have to analyze log files often, this is probably a must-have feature for you.

Save protocol filters: I really wonder why Microsoft introduced this feature only now. Filters are essential if you have to analyze log files and usually you need similar filters. The feature alone is worth installing the update. There are also some new filtering options: "Not One Of" and "One of".

Diagnostic logging: You can now log connections in the Windows Eventlog made to or thru ISA. Tom Shinder writes "you can actually get real insight into how the ISA Firewall evaluates each rule and component of the connection". Sounds quite interesting, too. He dedicated an article to this feature.

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Integration with ISA Firewall BPA: The ISA Firewall Best Practices Analyzer is separate tool you can download from Microsoft. It gives you a detailed report about your ISA configuration, helping you find common configuration errors.

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