What incremental functionality does the RMS Sharing Application deliver for my enterprise? Why should I deploy additional client software?

  • Leverages your existing AD RMS or Azure RMS infrastructure, but also works for individuals without Office 365 subscriptions for grassroots-style introduction; companies can later ‘claim’ their private email domains by starting an Office 365 subscription
  • Ad hoc external sharing (depending upon corporate policy, network connectivity to your AD RMS server or Azure RMS, etc.)
  • Good public end user documentation – a great way to introduce RMS concepts to the enterprise
  • Solves compatibility and cross-platform issues (including mobile) – ‘just works’
  • Additional file formats (PPDF/image), generic file protection – simplified UI wrapper demonstrating what the RMS SDK can do

Considerations:

  • Credential switching between RMS instances (e.g., AD RMS vs. Azure RMS like in a HYOK scenario) is not possible within the UI like in Office applications, though you can use Run As
  • Dynamic lifecycle – Frequent feature introductions and updates, unlike mature platforms like Office/Outlook and SharePoint; in future being merged/replaced/rebranded with the Azure IP client (formerly Secure Islands)
  • Maintenance – automatic updates, so be aware when including into managed PC base image

How does it work? 

The RMS Sharing Application works by protecting files and sending them over email to recipients. The publisher specifies an RMS policy (e.g., View only, View and edit, Co-owner) for the recipient list; he can choose either to email the protected documents or leave them protected in place on the file system.

To summarize, the RMS Sharing Application is free and feature rich, covering some gaps in the RMS story (external sharing, images, PDFs, generic protection) that the more mature products have, but is frequently changing and may require policy re-evaluation.

 

stephen