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managing sms collection security

back in february, i posted about how useless sms security was for the enterprise. well, i have to repeal that comment now. yesterday, i received some information on how to setup sms to narrow down focus to a specific collection. this means you can separate administration for workstations to your client staff, servers to your server staff, domain controllers for your domain admins, etc. with this method, now you can setup secondary site servers and have that layer of useful granularity so that your site admins could have control of their own clients. enough prattling. on to the good stuff... in this example, we're going to setup security for client administrators.
  1. setup a collection of clients that are all workstations.
  2. grant the following rights only to the group or user (suggest using groups) on the class level to collections:
    • advertise
    • create
    • delegate
  3. if the group/user has any other permissions to the class level, make sure that gets removed.
  4. grant the group/user instance level permissions to the collection that you created in the first step with the following rights:
    • modify
    • read
    • read resource
    • use remote tools (where wanted/applicable)

i'll explain a few things here. what you've done is removed class level read permissions to any collection in sms. now any time the user creates a new collection, any membership has to be validated against a specific collection - be it static (direct) or dynamic (query). in this case, they only have rights to read the information from the collection created in step 1.

you don't have to grant "modify" rights as stipulated in step 4. do this only if you want the user to be able to create subcollections under the collection created in step 1. modify does not mean that they can change the membership in the master collection. even the membership rules of this collection require validation against the master collection. since the master collection is itself... the most they could do is remove items but not add any more than what's defined initially. cool stuff. thanks eric.

update: since having posted this, i've modified step 4 to add "read resource" and "use remote tools". a new member of my team pointed out that without "read resource" rights, advanced query functions like subselect are not available.

here's the link for the script:


  1. Great post, Marcus.... helps to clarify some of the confusion for me at least... however I'd like to get some clarification before I head into the lab to test.

    The scenario (using your examples) are: HelpDesk techs accessing Wkstas; Server techs accessing servers; SMS Admins accessing everything. So we see the collections node sort of like this:

    WKSTA Clients
    SERVER Clients

    Now, all the perm changes are being applied to WKSTA and SERVER collections only? For the WKSTA collection, we assign the domain global group "HelpDesk" the desired rights Advertise, Create, and Delegate (only) at the WKSTA node (r-click/properties/Security --> CLASS properties); then in the same SECURITY properties screen, under "INSTANCE", select the HelpDesk group and set Read, and Modify. While we're in this SECURITY properties pagewe also unsure that there are no "other" groups with various perms to the collection that we do not want to allow access.

    The same is done on the SERVER collection for the "ServerTeam" group?

    If I have this correct, here's my question: "What needs to be done to ensure these two groups have NO access to all the REST of the collections in the site? Must we remove the two groups from node "Collections"or, do we need to go to EVERY existing (and future) collection and manually pull them out of the security for all of these?

    I hope this makes sense. Tks for the info!!

  2. If there are any instance level collection permissions, you'll need to change them. I'll be posting a script shortly to change subcollections of a collection.

  3. Nice post Marcus!

  4. Jeff Gilbert1/21/10, 8:53 AM

    Nice post Marcus!


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