Tip o’ the day: 12/06/2006 – Two Super Secret Registry Keys for controlling Office IRM

With the release of Office 2007, we've added some keys to help control Office IRM a little more. There are also some keys that I'll mention, that apply to Office 11, that you may not have known about. I'll put a note at the bottom if it also applies to Office 11. If it does, you will need to change the registry key from 12.0 to 11.0 where applicable. Shhhh....


The 'Stop the Madness' key -
Value: 1 will turn on this feature 0 turns it off
Applies to: Office 2007 only

Description: With Office 2003 Professional, the only way that you can prevent users from being able to create content with RMS, is to ACL the Publish.asmx file under C:\InetPub\WWWRoot\_wmcs\Licensing. If you did this however, all users will get prompted for credentials one time, because Office 2003 Professional will always attempt to get a publishing certificate (CLC). The user is supposed to hit cancel. This is an annoyance to alot of admins, as it will generate helpdesk calls from people trying to unsuccessfully enter their credentials. To get around this, Admins would pull Office 2003 Pro, and replace it with 2003 Standard, so users wouldn't get prompted, or they would just send out a memo explaining why the user gets prompted, and tell them to ignore it. (Did you get that memo for your TPS report?) What a pain!
Well the complaints were heard loud and clear, so the Office team added this nifty little key to Office 2007, to essentially turn Office 2007 Pro, into Office 2007 Standard as far as RMS is concerned. Now users will be able to read RMS content without being able to create it.

The 'Lowest Common Denominator' key -
Value: 1 will turn on this feature 0 turns it off
Applies to: Office 2003 and 2007

Description: So you just acquired a company, and much to your chagrin all of the clients at that company are running Windows 2000 and Office 2000. Great, now what? Well RMA (Rights Management Add-on for I.E.) would be your answer, however, the gotcha here is that in order for people on the Windows 2000 boxes to be able to open content from the people sending from Office 2003, the people using Office 2003 would have to know to go into 'Advanced' settings, when they IRM/RMS protect stuff, and check off the box that say's 'Allow users with earlier versions of Office to view this'..or something like that (I'm not looking at it). Well not many admins want to leave this up to the users to know how to do, and its not checked by default. Well this key will take care of that problem.
Warning: Doing this increases the file size of whatever you are RMS protecting. Be careful, and get those users upgraded to recent products ASAP.

I'll try to post more of these, as I come across them, and figure out what they do.

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