RMS client deployment notes

Applies to: Active Directory Rights Management Services, Azure Information Protection, Windows 7 with SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Vista

The Rights Management Service client (RMS client) version 2 is also known as the MSIPC client. It is software for Windows computers that communicates with Microsoft Rights Management services on-premises or in the cloud to help protect access to and usage of information as it flows through applications and devices, within the boundaries of your organization, or outside those managed boundaries.

In addition to shipping with the Azure Information Protection client for Windows, the RMS client is available as an optional download that can, with acknowledgment and acceptance of its license agreement, be freely distributed with third-party software so that clients can protect and consume content that has been protected by Rights Management services.

Redistributing the RMS client

The RMS client can be freely redistributed and bundled with other applications and IT solutions. If you are an application developer or solution provider and want to redistribute the RMS client, you have two options:

  • Recommended: Embed the RMS client installer in your application installation and run it in silent mode (the /quiet switch, detailed in the next section).

  • Make the RMS client a prerequisite for your application. With this option, you might need to provide users with additional instructions for them to obtain, install, and update their computers with the client before they can use your application.

Installing the RMS client

The RMS client is contained in an installer executable file named setup_msipc_.exe, where is either x86 (for 32-bit client computers) or x64 (for 64-bit client computers). The 64-bit (x64) installer package installs both a 32-bit runtime executable for compatibility with 32-bit applications that run on a 64-bit operating system installation, as well as a 64-bit runtime executable for supporting native 64-bit applications. The 32-bit (x86) installer will not run on a 64-bit Windows installation.

Note

You must have elevated privileges to install the RMS client, such as a member of the Administrators group on the local computer.

You can install the RMS client by using either of the following installation methods:

  • Silent mode. By using the /quiet switch as part of the command-line options, you can silently install the RMS client on computers. The following example shows a silent mode installation for the RMS client on a 64-bit client computer:

    setup_msipc_x64.exe /quiet
    
  • Interactive mode. Alternately, you can install the RMS client by using the GUI-based setup program that's provided by the RMS Client Installation Wizard. To do this, double-click the RMS client installer package (setup_msipc_.exe) in the folder to which it was copied or downloaded on your local computer.

Questions and answers about the RMS client

The following section contains frequently asked questions about the RMS client and the answers to them.

Which operating systems support the RMS client?

The RMS client is supported with the following operating systems:

Windows Server Operating System Windows Client Operating System
Windows Server 2016 Windows 10
Windows Server 2012 R2 Windows 8.1
Windows Server 2012 Windows 8
Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows 7 with minimum of SP1
Windows Server 2008 (AD RMS only) Windows Vista with minimum of SP2 (AD RMS only)

Which processors or platforms support the RMS client?

The RMS client is supported on x86 and x64 computing platforms.

Where is the RMS client installed?

By default, the RMS client is installed in %ProgramFiles%\Active Directory Rights Management Services Client 2..

What files are associated with the RMS client software?

The following files are installed as part of the RMS client software:

  • Msipc.dll

  • Ipcsecproc.dll

  • Ipcsecproc_ssp.dll

  • MSIPCEvents.man

In addition to these files, the RMS client also installs multilingual user interface (MUI) support files in 44 languages. To verify the languages supported, run the RMS client installation and when the installation is complete, review the contents of the multilingual support folders under the default path.

Is the RMS client included by default when I install a supported operating system?

No. This version of the RMS client ships as an optional download that can be installed separately on computers running supported versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Is the RMS client automatically updated by Microsoft Update?

If you installed this RMS client by using the silent installation option, the RMS client inherits your current Microsoft Update settings. If you installed the RMS client by using the GUI-based setup program, the RMS client installation wizard prompts you to enable Microsoft Update.

RMS client settings

The following section contains settings information about the RMS client. This information might be helpful if you have problems with applications or services that use the RMS client.

Note

Some settings depend on whether the RMS-enlightened application runs as a client mode application (such as Microsoft Word and Outlook, or the Azure Information Protection client with Windows File Explorer), or server mode application (such as SharePoint and Exchange). In the following tables, these settings are identified as Client Mode and Server Mode, respectively.

Where the RMS client stores licenses on client computers

The RMS client stores licenses on the local disk and also caches some information in the Windows registry.

Description Client Mode Paths Server Mode Paths
License store location %localappdata%\Microsoft\MSIPC %allusersprofile%\Microsoft\MSIPC\Server**\
Template store location %localappdata%\Microsoft\MSIPC\Templates %allusersprofile%\Microsoft\MSIPC\Server\Templates**\
Registry location HKEY_CURRENT_USER
\Software
\Classes
\Local Settings
\Software
\Microsoft
\MSIPC
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
\Software
\Microsoft
\MSIPC
\Server
**
Note

<SID> is the secure identifier (SID) for the account under which the server application is running. For example, if the application is running under the built-in Network Service account, replace with the value of the well-known SID for that account (S-1-5-20).

Windows registry settings for the RMS client

You can use Windows registry keys to set or modify some RMS client configurations. For example, as an administrator for RMS-enlightened applications that communicate with AD RMS servers, you might want to update the enterprise service location (override the AD RMS server that is currently selected for publishing) depending on the client computer's current location within your Active Directory topology. Or, you might want to enable RMS tracing at the client computer, to help troubleshoot a problem with an RMS-enlightened application. Use the following table to identify the registry settings that you can change for the RMS client.

Task Settings
If the client is version 1.03102.0221 or later:

To control application data collection
Important: In order to honor user privacy, you as the administrator, must ask the user for consent before enabling data collection.

If you enable data collection, you are agreeing to send data to Microsoft over the Internet. Microsoft uses this data to provide and improve the quality, security and integrity of Microsoft products and services. For example, we analyze performance and reliability, such as what features you use, how quickly the features respond, device performance, user interface interactions, and any problems you experience with the product. Data will also include information about the configuration of your software like the software you are currently running, and the IP address.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft\MSIPC
REG_DWORD: DiagnosticState

Value: 0 for Application defined (default) by using the environment property IPC_EI_DATA_COLLECTION_ENABLED, 1 for Disabled, 2 for Enabled

Note: If your 32-bit MSIPC-based application is running on a 64-bit version of Windows, the location will be HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC.
AD RMS only:

To update the enterprise service location for a client computer
Update the following registry keys:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC\ServiceLocation\EnterpriseCertification
REG_SZ: default

Value:<http or https>://RMS_Cluster_Name/_wmcs/Certification

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC\ServiceLocation\EnterprisePublishing
REG_SZ: default

Value: <http or https>://RMS_Cluster_Name/_wmcs/Licensing
To enable and disable tracing Update the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC
REG_DWORD: Trace

Value: 1 to enable tracing, 0 to disable tracing (default)
To change the frequency in days to refresh templates The following registry values specify how often templates will be refreshed on the user’s computer if the TemplateUpdateFrequencyInSeconds value is not set. If neither of these values are set, the default refresh interval for applications using the RMS client (version 1.0.1784.0) to download templates is 1 day. Versions prior to this have a default value of every 7 days.

Client Mode:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC
REG_DWORD: TemplateUpdateFrequency

Value: An integer value that specifies the number of days (minimum of 1) between downloads.

Server Mode:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC\Server\<SID>
REG_DWORD: TemplateUpdateFrequency

Value: An integer value that specifies the number of days (minimum of 1) between downloads.
To change the frequency in seconds to refresh templates

Important: If this is specified, the value to refresh templates in days is ignored. Specify one or the other, not both.
The following registry values specify how often templates will be refreshed on the user’s computer. If this value or the value to change the frequency in days (TemplateUpdateFrequency) is not set, the default refresh interval for applications using the RMS client (version 1.0.1784.0) to download templates is 1 day. Versions prior to this have a default value of every 7 days.

Client Mode:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC
REG_DWORD: TemplateUpdateFrequencyInSeconds

Value: An integer value that specifies the number of seconds (minimum of 1) between downloads.

Server Mode:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC\Server\<SID>
REG_DWORD: TemplateUpdateFrequencyInSeconds

Value: An integer value that specifies the number of seconds (minimum of 1) between downloads.
AD RMS only:

To download templates immediately at the next publishing request
During testing and evaluations, you might want the RMS client to download templates as soon as possible. To do this, remove the following registry key and the RMS client will download templates immediately at the next publishing request rather than wait for the time specified by the TemplateUpdateFrequency registry setting:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\<Server Name>\Template

Note: <Server Name> could have both external (corprights.contoso.com) and internal (corprights) URLs and therefore two different entries.
AD RMS only:

To enable support for federated authentication
If the RMS client computer connects to an AD RMS cluster by using a federated trust, you must configure the federation home realm.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\Federation
REG_SZ: FederationHomeRealm

Value: The value of this registry entry is the uniform resource identifier (URI) for the federation service (for example, "http://TreyADFS.trey.net/adfs/services/trust").

Note: It is important that you specify http and not https for this value. In addition, if your 32-bit MSIPC-based application is running on a 64-bit version of Windows, the location will be HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC\Federation. For an example configuration, see Deploying Active Directory Rights Management Services with Active Directory Federation Services.
AD RMS only:

To support partner federation servers that require forms-based authentication for user input
By default, the RMS client operates in silent mode and user input is not required. Partner federation servers, however, might be configured to require user input such as by way of forms-based authentication. In this case, you must configure the RMS client to ignore silent mode so that the federated authentication form appears in a browser window and the user is promoted for authentication.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\Federation
REG_DWORD: EnableBrowser

Note: If the federation server is configured to use forms-based authentication, this key is required. If the federation server is configured to use Windows integrated authentication, this key is not required.
AD RMS only:

To block ILS service consumption
By default, the RMS client enables consuming content protected by the ILS service but you can configure the client to block this service by setting the following registry key. If this registry key is set to block the ILS service, any attempts to open and consume content protected by the ILS service will return the following error:
HRESULT_FROM_WIN32(ERROR_ACCESS_DISABLED_BY_POLICY)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC
REG_DWORD: DisablePassportCertification

Value: 1 to block ILS consumption, 0 to allow ILS consumption (default)

Managing template distribution for the RMS client

Templates make it easy for users and administrators to quickly apply Rights Management protection and the RMS client automatically downloads templates from its RMS servers or service If you put the templates in the following folder location, the RMS client will not download any templates from its default location and instead, download the templates that you have put in this folder. The RMS client might continue to download templates from other available RMS servers.

Client Mode: %localappdata%\Microsoft\MSIPC\UnmanagedTemplates

Server Mode: %allusersprofile%\Microsoft\MSIPC\Server\UnmanagedTemplates\<SID>\

When you use this folder, there is no special naming convention required except that the templates should be issued by the RMS server or service and they must have the .xml file name extension. For example, Contoso-Confidential.xml or Contoso-ReadOnly.xml are valid names.

AD RMS only: Limiting the RMS client to use trusted AD RMS servers

The RMS client can be limited to using only specific trusted AD RMS servers by making the following changes to the Windows registry on local computers.

To enable limiting RMS client to use only trusted AD RMS servers

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\TrustedServers\ REG_DWORD: AllowTrustedServersOnly

    Value: If a non-zero value is specified, the RMS client will trust only the specified servers that are configured in the TrustedServers list and the Azure Rights Management service.

To add members to the list of trusted AD RMS servers

  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\MSIPC\TrustedServers\ REG_SZ:

    Value: The string values added in this registry key location can be either DNS domain name format (for example, adrms.contoso.com) or full URLs to trusted AD RMS servers (for example, https://adrms.contoso.com). If a specified URL starts with https://, the RMS client will use SSL or TLS to contact the specified AD RMS server.

RMS service discovery

RMS service discovery lets the RMS client check which RMS server or service to communicate with before protecting content. Service discovery might also happen when the RMS client consumes protected content, but this is less likely to happen because the policy attached to the content contains the preferred RMS server or service and only if that is unsuccessful does the client then run service discovery.

To perform service discovery, the RMS client checks the following:

  1. The Windows registry on the local computer: If service discovery settings are configured in the registry, these settings are tried first.

    By default, these settings are not configured in the registry but an administrator can configure them for AD RMS as documented in a following section. An administrator typically configures these settings for the Azure Rights Management service during the migration process from AD RMS to Azure Information Protection.

  2. Active Directory Domain Services: A domain-joined computer queries Active Directory for a service connection point (SCP).

    If an SCP is registered as documented in the following section, the URL of the AD RMS server is returned to the RMS client to use.

  3. The Azure Rights Management discovery service: The RMS client connects to https://discover.aadrm.com, which prompts the user to authenticate.

    When authentication is successful, the user name (and domain) from the authentication is used to identify the Azure Information Protection tenant to use. The Azure Information Protection URL to use for that user account is returned to the RMS client. The URL will be in the following format: https://<YourTenantURL>/_wmcs/licensing

    For example: 5c6bb73b-1038-4eec-863d-49bded473437.rms.na.aadrm.com/_wmcs/licensing

    <YourTenantURL> has the following format: {GUID}.rms.[Region].aadrm.com.You can find this value by identifying the RightsManagementServiceId value when you run the Get-AadrmConfiguration cmdlet for Azure RMS.

Note

There are three important exceptions for this service discovery flow:

  • Mobile devices are best suited to use a cloud service, so by default they use service discovery for the Azure Rights Management service (https://discover.aadrm.com). To override this so that mobile devices use AD RMS rather than the Azure Rights Management service, you must specify SRV records in DNS and install the mobile device extension as documented in Active Directory Rights Management Services Mobile Device Extension.

  • When the Rights Management service is invoked by an Azure Information Protection label, service discovery is not performed. Instead, the URL is specified directly in the label setting that is configured in the Azure Information Protection policy.

  • When a user initiates sign in from an Office application, the user name (and domain) from the authentication is used to identify the Azure Information Protection tenant to use. In this case, registry settings are not needed and the SCP is not checked.

AD RMS only: Enabling server-side service discovery by using Active Directory

If your account has sufficient privileges (Enterprise Admins and local administrator for the AD RMS server), you can automatically register a a service connection point (SCP) when you install the AD RMS root cluster server. If a SCP already exists in the forest, you must first delete the existing SCP before you can register a new one.

You can register and delete an SCP after AD RMS is installed by using the following procedure. Before you start, make sure that your account has the required privileges (Enterprise Admins and local administrator for the AD RMS server).

To enable AD RMS service discovery by registering an SCP in Active Directory

  1. Open the Active Directory Management Services console at the AD RMS server:

    • If you are using Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008, click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Active Directory Rights Management Services.

    • If you are using Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2012, in Server Manager, click Tools, and then click Active Directory Rights Management Services.

  2. In the AD RMS console right-click the AD RMS cluster, and then click Properties.

  3. Click the SCP tab.

  4. Select the Change SCP check box.

  5. Select the Set SCP to current certification cluster option, and then click OK.

Enabling client-side service discovery by using the Windows registry

As an alternative to using an SCP or where an SCP does not exist, you can configure the registry on the client computer so that the RMS client can locate its AD RMS server.

To enable client-side AD RMS service discovery by using the Windows registry

  1. Open the Windows registry editor, Regedit.exe:

    • On the client computer, in the Run window, type regedit, and then press Enter to open the Registry Editor.
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC.

    Important

    If you are running a 32-bit application on a 64-bit computer, the path will be as follows: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC

  3. To create the ServiceLocation subkey, right-click MSIPC, point to New, click Key, and then type ServiceLocation.

  4. To create the EnterpriseCertification subkey, right-click ServiceLocation, point to New, click Key, and then type EnterpriseCertification.

  5. To set the enterprise certification URL, double-click the (Default) value, under the EnterpriseCertification subkey, and when the Edit String dialog box appears, for Value data, type ://AD RMS_cluster_name/_wmcs/Certification, and then click OK.

  6. To create the EnterprisePublishing subkey, right-click ServiceLocation, point to New, click Key, and then type EnterprisePublishing.

  7. To set the enterprise publishing URL, double-click (Default) , under the EnterprisePublishing subkey, and when the Edit String dialog box appears, type for Value data the following ://AD RMS_cluster_name/_wmcs/Licensing, and then click OK.

  8. Close Registry Editor.

If the RMS client can't find an SCP by querying Active Directory and it's not specified in the registry, service discovery calls for AD RMS will fail.

Redirecting licensing server traffic

In some cases, you might need to redirect traffic during service discovery, for example, when two organizations are merged and the old licensing server in one organization is retired and clients need to be redirected to a new licensing server. Or, you migrate from AD RMS to Azure RMS. To enable licensing redirection, use the following procedure.

To enable RMS licensing redirection by using the Windows registry

  1. Open the Windows registry editor, Regedit.exe:

    • On the client computer, in the Run window, type regedit, and then press Enter to open Registry Editor.
  2. In Registry Editor, navigate to one of the following:

    • For 64-bit version of Office on x64 platform: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSIPC\Servicelocation

    • For 32-bit version of Office on x64 platform: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MSIPC\Servicelocation

  3. Create a LicensingRedirection subkey, by right-clicking Servicelocation, point to New, click Key, and then type LicensingRedirection.

  4. To set the licensing redirection, right-click the LicensingRedirection subkey, select New, and then select String value. For Name, specify the previous server licensing URL and for Value specify the new server licensing URL.

    For example, to redirect licensing from a server at Contoso.com to one at Fabrikam.com, you might enter the following values:

    Name: https://contoso.com/_wmcs/licensing

    Value: https://fabrikam.com/_wmcs/licensing

    Note

    If the old licensing server has both intranet and extranet URLs specified then a new name and value mapping has to be set for both of these URLs under the LicensingRedirection key.

  5. Repeat the previous step for all servers that need to be redirected.

  6. Close Registry Editor.

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