Understanding the Decommissioning Process

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

By using Internet Information Services (IIS), RMS exposes various Web services. For example, the certification service enrolls users and their computers, and the licensing service publishes content and provides access to rights-protected information. An additional service, called the decommissioning service, must be enabled on the RMS server to start the decommissioning process. When the decommissioning service is enabled, all of the other RMS services provided by the server are disabled.

Once the RMS server has been enabled for decommissioning, applications can obtain a content key from the decommissioning service that enables the application to permanently decrypt the rights-protected content.

When the RMS server is operating in decommissioning mode, any user, with or without rights to the original rights-protected content, can obtain a content key and gain full rights to the content.

Once the rights-protected content is decrypted, the user should then save the content without RMS protection. In order to use the decommissioning service, the user must have been enrolled within the RMS infrastructure. A user without an activated RMS client cannot use the decommissioning service to gain access to rights-protected content.