There are two new books out that I want to talk about today. Both deal with Active Directory and are written by people who know what they're talking about. One's electronic, the other is the more traditional "dead trees" type. One you'll want to read cover-to-cover while the other makes a better reference tool. Both could be called "second editions," though.Addison-Wesley has just shipped the second edition of "Inside Active Directory," which has been updated to reflect all of the changes in Active Directory that came with Windows Server 2003.Co-authors Sakari Kouti and Mika Seitsonen have made good use of the long winter nights in their native Finland to come up with what might be called the definitive guide (might be called, but isn't as someone else uses that series name) to Active Directory.The 1,200-page tome is divided into three sections: background skills, core skills and advanced skills. There's such a range, in fact, that the book is appropriate for the novice and the directory guru alike. They won't read the same sections, of course, but neither would feel cheated.Topics covered include the design, architecture, topology, installation and management of Active Directory. Thus, it's appropriate not only for the network manager and administrator but also provides a valuable reference for the programmer looking to directory-enable a Windows application or service. The table of contents as well as a sample chapter are available online for your perusal at the publisher's Web site (https:\/\/www.awprofessional.com\/title\/0321228480).The electronic book, "The Definitive Guide to Active Directory Troubleshooting and Auditing" is being published by my friends at realtimepublishers.com and is sponsored by NetPro. It's written by Don Jones, who also wrote the NetPro sponsored "Tips and Tricks Guide to Active Directory Troubleshooting."Chapter 1 of Jones' latest book was made available for free download last week (register at https:\/\/www.netpro.com\/ebook\/ebook_register.cfm) with further chapters coming at approximately monthly intervals.The first chapter covers the logical and physical architecture of Active Directory, as well as the inner workings of DNS, and outlines "best practices" for Active Directory monitoring and change auditing. Not entirely coincidently, NetPro also made available last week a beta version of the upcoming 4.0 release of its DirectoryTroubleshooter product. Get both at the NetPro Web site.The e-book is one you'll want to read every word of, while the "hold it in your hand and turn the pages" book is one you'll want to hang on to for reference. They're both good, both useful and are complementary rather than competing.