RMS Activation Proxy Service

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

All RMS version 1.0 machine activation requests go through the activation proxy service, which runs only on the RMS root cluster. You must activate a client computer before it can be used with RMS for publishing or consuming rights-protected content. Starting with RMS with Service Pack 1, the client is “self-activating” and does not need to use the activation proxy server or the Microsoft Activation Service to generate a lockbox and machine certificate.

The activation proxy service forwards machine activation requests from RMS version 1.0 clients to the Microsoft Activation Service, which returns a custom-generated lockbox and a matching RMS machine certificate that are unique to the specific user and computer. The activation proxy service then forwards these items back to the requesting client.

The activation proxy service application file, Activation.asmx, is located in the Certification virtual directory that is in IIS. The default access control list on this service is shown in the following table:

User or Group Default Permission


Full Control


Read and Execute

RMS Service Group

Read and Execute


Full Control