Create a new access package in Azure AD entitlement management

An access package enables you to do a one-time setup of resources and policies that automatically administers access for the life of the access package. This article describes how to create a new access package.

Overview

All access packages must be put in a container called a catalog. A catalog defines what resources you can add to your access package. If you don't specify a catalog, your access package will be put into the General catalog. Currently, you can't move an existing access package to a different catalog.

If you are an access package manager, you cannot add resources you own to a catalog. You are restricted to using the resources available in the catalog. If you need to add resources to a catalog, you can ask the catalog owner.

All access packages must have at least one policy. Policies specify who can request the access package and also approval and lifecycle settings. When you create a new access package, you can create an initial policy for users in your directory, for users not in your directory, for administrator direct assignments only, or you can choose to create the policy later.

Create an access package

Here are the high-level steps to create a new access package.

  1. In Identity Governance, start the process to create a new access package.

  2. Select the catalog you want to create the access package in.

  3. Add resources from catalog to your access package.

  4. Assign resource roles for each resource.

  5. Specify users that can request access.

  6. Specify any approval settings.

  7. Specify lifecycle settings.

Start new access package

Prerequisite role: Global administrator, User administrator, Catalog owner, or Access package manager

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Click Azure Active Directory and then click Identity Governance.

  3. In the left menu, click Access packages.

  4. Click New access package.

    Entitlement management in the Azure portal

Basics

On the Basics tab, you give the access package a name and specify which catalog to create the access package in.

  1. Enter a display name and description for the access package. Users will see this information when they submit a request for the access package.

  2. In the Catalog drop-down list, select the catalog you want to create the access package in. For example, you might have a catalog owner that manages all the marketing resources that can be requested. In this case, you could select the marketing catalog.

    You will only see catalogs you have permission to create access packages in. To create an access package in an existing catalog, you must be a Global administrator or User administrator, or you must be a catalog owner or access package manager in that catalog.

    Access package - Basics

    If you are a Global administrator, a User administrator, or catalog creator and you would like to create your access package in a new catalog that's not listed, click Create new catalog. Enter the Catalog name and description and then click Create.

    The access package you are creating and any resources included in it will be added to the new catalog. You can also add additional catalog owners later.

  3. Click Next.

Resource roles

On the Resource roles tab, you select the resources to include in the access package. Users who request and receive the access package will receive all the resource roles in the access package.

  1. Click the resource type you want to add (Groups and Teams, Applications, or SharePoint sites).

  2. In the Select pane that appears, select one or more resources from the list.

    Access package - Resource roles

    If you are creating the access package in the General catalog or a new catalog, you will be able to pick any resource from the directory that you own. You must be at least a Global administrator, a User administrator, or Catalog creator.

    If you are creating the access package in an existing catalog, you can select any resource that is already in the catalog without owning it.

    If you are a Global administrator, a User administrator, or catalog owner, you have the additional option of selecting resources you own that are not yet in the catalog. If you select resources not currently in the selected catalog, these resources will also be added to the catalog for other catalog administrators to build access packages with. To see all the resources that can be added to the catalog, check the See all check box at the top of the Select pane. If you only want to select resources that are currently in the selected catalog, leave the check box See all unchecked (default state).

  3. Once you have selected the resources, in the Role list, select the role you want users to be assigned for the resource.

    Access package - Resource role selection

  4. Click Next.

Requests

On the Requests tab, you create the first policy to specify who can request the access package and also approval settings. Later, you can create more request policies to allow additional groups of users to request the access package with their own approval settings.

Access package - Requests tab

Depending on who you want to be able to request this access package, perform the steps in one of the following sections.

For users in your directory

Follow these steps if you want to allow users in your directory to be able to request this access package. When defining the request policy, you can specify individual users, or more commonly groups of users. For example, your organization may already have a group such as All employees. If that group is added in the policy for users who can request access, then any member of that group can then request access.

  1. In the Users who can request access section, click For users in your directory.

    When you select this option, new options appear to further refine who in your directory can request this access package.

    Access package - Requests - For users in your directory

  2. Select one of the following options:

    Specific users and groups Choose this option if you want only the users and groups in your directory that you specify to be able to request this access package.
    All members (excluding guests) Choose this option if you want all member users in your directory to be able to request this access package. This option doesn't include any guest users you might have invited into your directory.
    All users (including guests) Choose this option if you want all member users and guest users in your directory to be able to request this access package.

    Guest users refer to external users that have been invited into your directory with Azure AD B2B. For more information about the differences between member users and guest users, see What are the default user permissions in Azure Active Directory?.

  3. If you selected Specific users and groups, click Add users and groups.

  4. In the Select users and groups pane, select the users and groups you want to add.

    Access package - Requests - Select users and groups

  5. Click Select to add the users and groups.

  6. Skip down to the Approval section.

For users not in your directory

Users not in your directory refers to users who are in another Azure AD directory or domain. These users may not have yet been invited into your directory. Azure AD directories must be configured to be allow invitations in Collaboration restrictions. For more information, see Enable B2B external collaboration and manage who can invite guests.

Note

A guest user account will be created for a user not yet in your directory whose request is approved or auto-approved. The guest will be invited, but will not receive an invite email. Instead, they will receive an email when their access package assignment is delivered. By default, later when that guest user no longer has any access package assignments, because their last assignment has expired or been cancelled, that guest user account will be blocked from sign in and subsequently deleted. If you want to have guest users remain in your directory indefinitely, even if they have no access package assignments, you can change the settings for your entitlement management configuration. For more information about the guest user object, see Properties of an Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration user.

Follow these steps if you want to allow users not in your directory to request this access package:

  1. In the Users who can request access section, click For users not in your directory.

    When you select this option, new options appear.

    Access package - Requests - For users not in your directory

  2. Select one of the following options:

    Specific connected organizations Choose this option if you want to select from a list of organizations that your administrator previously added. All users from the selected organizations can request this access package.
    All connected organizations Choose this option if all users from all your connected organizations can request this access package.
    All users (All connected organizations + any new external users) Choose this option if all users from all your connected organizations can request this access package and that the B2B allow or deny list settings should take precedence for any new external user.

    A connected organization is an external Azure AD directory or domain that you have a relationship with.

  3. If you selected Specific connected organizations, click Add directories to select from a list of connected organizations that your administrator previously added.

  4. Type the name or domain name to search for a previously connected organization.

    Access package - Requests - Select directories

    If the organization you want to collaborate with isn't in the list, you can ask your administrator to add it as a connected organization. For more information, see Add a connected organization.

  5. Once you've selected all your connected organizations, click Select.

    Note

    All users from the selected connected organizations will be able to request this access package. This includes users in Azure AD from all subdomains associated with the organization, unless those domains are blocked by the Azure B2B allow or deny list. For more information, see Allow or block invitations to B2B users from specific organizations.

  6. Skip down to the Approval section.

None (administrator direct assignments only)

Follow these steps if you want to bypass access requests and allow administrators to directly assign specific users to this access package. Users won't have to request the access package. You can still set lifecycle settings, but there are no request settings.

  1. In the Users who can request access section, click None (administrator direct assignments only.

    Access package - Requests - None administrator direct assignments only

    After you create the access package, you can directly assign specific internal and external users to the access package. If you specify an external user, a guest user account will be created in your directory. For information about directly assigning a user, see View, add, and remove assignments for an access package.

  2. Skip down to the Enable requests section.

Approval

In the Approval section, you specify whether an approval is required when users request this access package. The approval settings work in the following way:

  • Only one of the selected approvers or fallback approvers needs to approve a request for single-stage approval.
  • Only one of the selected approvers from each stage needs to approve a request for 2-stage approval.
  • The approver can be a Manager, Internal sponsor, or External sponsor depending on who the policy is governing access.
  • Approval from every selected approver isn't required for single or 2-stage approval.
  • The approval decision is based on whichever approver reviews the request first.

For a demonstration of how to add approvers to a request policy, watch the following video:

For a demonstration of how to add a multi-stage approval to a request policy, watch the following video:

Follow these steps to specify the approval settings for requests for the access package:

  1. To require approval for requests from the selected users, set the Require approval toggle to Yes. Or, to have requests automatically approved, set the toggle to No.

  2. To require users to provide a justification to request the access package, set the Require requestor justification toggle to Yes.

  3. Now determine if requests will require single or 2-stage approval. Set the How many stages toggle to 1 for single stage approval or set the toggle to 2 for 2-stage approval.

    Access package - Requests - Approval settings

Use the following steps to add approvers after selecting how many stages you require:

Single-stage approval

  1. Add the First Approver:

    If the policy is set to govern access for users in your directory, you can select Manager as approver. Or, add a specific user by clicking Add approvers after selecting Choose specific approvers from the dropdown menu.

    Access package - Requests - For users in directory - First Approver

    If this policy is set to govern access for users not in your directory, you can select External sponsor or Internal sponsor. Or, add a specific user by clicking Add approvers or groups under Choose specific approvers.

    Access package - Requests - For users out of directory - First Approver

  2. If you selected Manager as the first approver, click Add fallback to select one or more users or groups in your directory to be a fallback approver. Fallback approvers receive the request if entitlement management can't find the manager for the user requesting access.

    The manager is found by entitlement management using the Manager attribute. The attribute is in the user's profile in Azure AD. For more information, see Add or update a user's profile information using Azure Active Directory.

  3. If you selected Choose specific approvers, click Add approvers to select one or more users or groups in your directory to be approvers.

  4. In the box under Decision must be made in how many days?, specify the number of days that an approver has to review a request for this access package.

    If a request isn't approved within this time period, it will be automatically denied. The user will have to submit another request for the access package.

  5. To require approvers to provide a justification for their decision, set Require approver justification to Yes.

    The justification is visible to other approvers and the requestor.

2-stage approval

If you selected a 2-stage approval, you'll need to add a second approver.

  1. Add the Second Approver:

    If the users are in your directory, add a specific user as the second approver by clicking Add approvers under Choose specific approvers.

    Access package - Requests - For users in directory - Second Approver

    If the users aren't in your directory, select Internal sponsor or External sponsor as the second approver. After selecting the approver, add the fallback approvers.

    Access package - Requests - For users out of directory - Second Approver

  2. Specify the number of days the second approver has to approve the request in the box under Decision must be made in how many days?.

  3. Set the Require approver justification toggle to Yes or No.

Alternate approvers

You can specify alternate approvers, similar to specifying the first and second approvers who can approve requests. Having alternate approvers will help ensure that the requests are approved or denied before they expire (timeout). You can list alternate approvers the first approver and second approver for 2-stage approval.

By specifying alternate approvers, in the event that the first or second approvers were unable to approve or deny the request, the pending request gets forwarded to the alternate approvers, per the forwarding schedule you specified during policy setup. They receive an email to approve or deny the pending request.

After the request is forwarded to the alternate approvers, the first or second approvers can still approve or deny the request. Alternate approvers use the same My Access site to approve or deny the pending request.

We can list people or groups of people to be approvers and alternate approvers. Please ensure that you list different sets of people to be the first, second, and alternate approvers. For example, if you listed Alice and Bob as the First Approver(s), list Carol and Dave as the alternate approvers. Use the following steps to add alternate approvers to an access package:

  1. Under the First Approver, Second Approver, or both, click Show advanced request settings.

    Access package - Policy - Show advanced request settings

  2. Set If no action taken, forward to alternate approvers? toggle to Yes.

  3. Click Add alternate approvers and select the alternate approver(s) from the list.

    Access package - Policy - Add Alternate Approvers

  4. In the Forward to alternate approver(s) after how many days box, put in the number of days the approvers have to approve or deny a request. If no approvers have approved or denied the request before the request duration, the request expires (timeout), and the user will have to submit another request for the access package.

    Requests can only be forwarded to alternate approvers a day after the request duration reaches half-life, and the decision of the main approver(s) has to time-out after at least 4 days. If the request time-out is less or equal than 3, there is not enough time to forward the request to alternate approver(s). In this example, the duration of the request is 14 days. So, the request duration reaches half-life at day 7. So the request can't be forwarded earlier than day 8. Also, requests can't be forwarded on the last day of the request duration. So in the example, the latest the request can be forwarded is day 13.

Enable requests

  1. If you want the access package to be made immediately available for users in the request policy to request, move the Enable toggle to Yes.

    You can always enable it in the future after you have finished creating the access package.

    If you selected None (administrator direct assignments only) and you set enable to No, then administrators can't directly assign this access package.

    Access package - Policy- Enable policy setting

  2. Click Next.

Lifecycle

On the Lifecycle tab, you specify when a user's assignment to the access package expires. You can also specify whether users can extend their assignments.

  1. In the Expiration section, set Access package assignments expires to On date, Number of days, or Never.

    For On date, select an expiration date in the future.

    For Number of days, specify a number between 0 and 3660 days.

    Based on your selection, a user's assignment to the access package expires on a certain date, a certain number of days after they are approved, or never.

  2. Click Show advanced expiration settings to show additional settings.

    Access package - Lifecycle Expiration settings

  3. To allow user to extend their assignments, set Allow users to extend access to Yes.

    If extensions are allowed in the policy, the user will receive an email 14 days and also 1 day before their access package assignment is set to expire prompting them to extend the assignment. If the user submits a request to extend access, the extension date must be at or before assignments expire as defined in the policy that was used to grant the user access to the access package. For example, if the policy indicates that assignments are set to expire on June 30, the maximum extension a user can request is June 30.

    If a user's access is extended, they will not be able to request the access package after the specified extension date (date set in the time zone of the user who created the policy).

  4. To require approval to grant an extension, set Require approval to grant extension to Yes.

    The same approval settings that were specified on the Requests tab will be used.

  5. Click Next or Update.

Review + create

On the Review + create tab, you can review your settings and check for any validation errors.

  1. Review the access package's settings

    Access package - Policy- Enable policy setting

  2. Click Create to create the access package.

    The new access package appears in the list of access packages.

Creating an access package programmatically

You can also create an access package using Microsoft Graph. A user in an appropriate role with an application that has the delegated EntitlementManagement.ReadWrite.All permission can call the API to

  1. List the accessPackageResources in the catalog and create an accessPackageResourceRequest for any resources that are not yet in the catalog.
  2. List the accessPackageResourceRoles of each accessPackageResource in an accessPackageCatalog. This list of roles will then be used to select a role, when subsequently creating an accessPackageResourceRoleScope.
  3. Create an accessPackage.
  4. Create an accessPackageAssignmentPolicy.
  5. Create an accessPackageResourceRoleScope for each resource role needed in the access package.

Next steps