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(This post was originally published on the original AD RMS blog in March 2010)

Once your AD RMS installation is in place your end users can begin creating and consuming protected content using AD RMS aware applications.  The purpose of this post is to explain what Microsoft applications support AD RMS protection, and to explain how you may protect file types from other applications that are important within your organization.

AD RMS is natively supported in both the 2007 and 2003 editions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.  Only Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, Office Enterprise 2007, Office Professional Plus 2007, and Office 2003 Profession versions support both creating and reading AD RMS protected content.  All other versions can read AD RMS protected content.  In addition, Microsoft InfoPath is supported in Microsoft Office 2007.  For a full list of the specific supported Microsoft Office file formats consult the TechNet article AD RMS and Microsoft Office Deployment Considerations.

AD RMS can also be used to protect Microsoft XML Paper Specification (XPS) files.  XPS is an electronic paper format based on XML.  XPS documents can be created by any application that can print to the Microsoft XPS Document Writer.  For more information on XPS visit the article Explore the features: XPS documents.

Our partners have developed solutions to extend AD RMS protection to many additional file types.  The Foxit PDF Security Suite can protect .pdf documents using your existing rights policy templates, and it integrates with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server.  The Foxit PDF Security Suite focuses exclusively on PDF files and may be the simplest option for organizations that need to extend AD RMS protection to only PDF files.  For more information visit the Foxit website: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/rms/index.html

GigaTrust also offers PDF file protection as part of their Enterprise Plus Solution.   An additional benefit of the Enterprise Plus Solution is that it can block over 250 screen capture and remote sharing applications, further securing your data.  GigaTrust has also developed GigaTrust for CAD to protect CAD files.  For more information visit their website: http://www.gigatrust.com/index.shtml.

Liquid Machines extends AD RMS protection to over 400 different file types including PDF and CAD files.  Their solution can also protect earlier versions of Microsoft Office, image files such as JPG and TIF, and graphics files.  For more information visit the Liquid Machines website at http://www.liquidmachines.com/rms.

Perhaps you would like to extend AD RMS protection to a specific file format.  Secure Islands offers a developmental framework they can use to supply AD RMS file protection to any file format within three to four weeks.  They also have a solution for protecting PDF files.  For more information on Secure Islands visit their website: http://www.secureislands.com/

Alternatively, you can extend AD RMS protection to additional file formats by leveraging the AD RMS Software Development Kit (SDK).  Specifically, the AD RMS SDK enables you to programmatically encrypt and decrypt content, associate rights with content, discover AD RMS services, and publish and acquire content licenses.