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Active Roles 7.2.1 - Administrator Guide

Introduction About Active Roles Getting Started Rule-based Administrative Views Role-based Administration
Access Templates as administrative roles Access Template management tasks Examples of use Deployment considerations Windows claims-based Access Rules
Rule-based AutoProvisioning and Deprovisioning
About Policy Objects Policy Object management tasks Policy configuration tasks
Property Generation and Validation User Logon Name Generation Group Membership AutoProvisioning E-mail Alias Generation Exchange Mailbox AutoProvisioning Home Folder AutoProvisioning Script Execution User Account Deprovisioning Group Membership Removal Exchange Mailbox Deprovisioning Home Folder Deprovisioning User Account Relocation User Account Permanent Deletion Group Object Deprovisioning Group Object Relocation Group Object Permanent Deletion Notification Distribution Report Distribution
Deployment considerations Checking for policy compliance Deprovisioning users or groups Restoring deprovisioned users or groups Container Deletion Prevention policy Picture management rules Policy extensions
Workflows
Understanding workflow Workflow activities overview Configuring a workflow
Creating a workflow definition Configuring workflow start conditions Configuring workflow parameters Adding activities to a workflow Configuring an Approval activity Configuring a Notification activity Configuring a Script activity Configuring an If-Else activity Configuring a Stop/Break activity Configuring an Add Report Section activity Configuring a Search activity Configuring CRUD activities Configuring a Save Object Properties activity Configuring a Modify Requested Changes activity Enabling or disabling an activity Enabling or disabling a workflow Using the initialization script
Example: Approval workflow E-mail based approval Automation workflow Activity extensions
Temporal Group Memberships Group Family Dynamic Groups Active Roles Reporting Management History
Understanding Management History Management History configuration Viewing change history
Workflow activity report sections Policy report items Active Roles internal policy report items
Examining user activity
Entitlement Profile Recycle Bin AD LDS Data Management Managing Configuration of Active Roles
Connecting to the Administration Service Adding and removing managed domains Using unmanaged domains Evaluating product usage Configuring replication Using AlwaysOn Availability Groups Using database mirroring Creating and using virtual attributes Examining client sessions Monitoring performance Customizing the console Using Configuration Center Changing the Active Roles Admin account Enabling or disabling diagnostic logs Active Roles Log Viewer
Using regular expressions Administrative Template Communication ports

Understanding Management History

Management History > Understanding Management History

The Management History feature provides information on who did what and when it was done with regard to the Active Directory management tasks performed using Active Roles.

This feature gives you a clear log documenting the changes that have been made to a given object, such as a user or group object. The log includes entries detailing actions performed, success or failure of the actions, as well as which attributes were changed.

By using the Management History feature, you can examine:

  • Change History  Information on changes that were made to directory data via Active Roles.
  • User Activity  Information on management actions that were performed by a given user.

Both Change History and User Activity use the same source of information—the Management History log, also referred to as the Change Tracking log. The configuration settings of the Change Tracking log are discusses later in this chapter (see Management History configuration).

Active Roles also includes reports to examine management history by collecting and analyzing event log records (see Active Roles Reporting earlier in this document). However, the process of retrieving and consolidating records from the event log may be time-consuming and inefficient.

Considerations and best practices

Management History > Understanding Management History > Considerations and best practices

The Management History feature is designed to help promptly investigate what changes were recently made to directory data, as well as when it was done and by whom. As such, this feature is not intended for data change auditing nor is it intended to explore large volumes of data changes that occurred during a long period of time. For this reason, in addition to the Management History feature, Active Roles provides a suite of reports for change tracking and auditing, which is part of the Active Roles Report Pack. Each of these options: Management History and Report Pack, has its own advantages and limitations. Follow the recommendations in this section to choose the one that best suits your needs.

You can use the Management History feature to examine changes that were made to directory data via Active Roles. The feature is designed to help you answer the following typical questions:

  • Who made the most recent changes to a given user or group object?
  • Who modified a given user or group object during the last X days?
  • What changes were made to a given user object last night (yesterday, the day before)?
  • Have any planned modifications of a given user or group object actually been performed?
  • What objects did a given delegated administrator modify during the last X days?

You can instantly access Management History whenever you need to quickly investigate or troubleshoot a problem that results from inappropriate modifications of directory data.

Management History includes a dedicated repository to store information about data changes, referred to as the Change Tracking log, and GUI to retrieve and display information from that repository. No additional actions, such as collecting or consolidating information, are required to build Management History results.

However, the advantages of the Management History feature also entail some limitations. Before you use the Management History feature, consider the following recommended best practices and limitations of using this feature.

The main factor to consider is the size of the Change Tracking log. To ensure real-time update of the log on all Administration Services, the log is normally stored in the Active Roles configuration database. This imposes some limitations on the log size.

By default, the Change Tracking log is configured to store information about changes that occurred within last 30 days. If you increase this setting, do it carefully; otherwise, you may encounter the following problems:

  • Excessive increase in the log size significantly increases the time required to build and display Change History and User Activity results.
  • As the log size grows, so does the size of the configuration database. This considerably increases the time required to back up and restore the database, and causes high network traffic replicating the database when you join an additional Administration Service to Active Roles replication.
  • The GUI is not suitable to represent large volumes of Management History results in a manageable fashion. Since there is no filtering or paging capabilities, it may be difficult to sort through the results.

To address these limitations, Active Roles gives you a different means for change auditing, change-tracking reports, included with the Active Roles Report Pack. These reports are designed to help answer the following questions:

  • What management tasks were performed on a given object within a certain period of time?
  • What management tasks were performed on a given object during the object’s entire life time?
  • When was a certain attribute of a given object modified?

Change-tracking reports are based on data collected from event logs. A separate log is stored on each computer running the Administration Service, and each log only contains events generated by one Administration Service. Therefore, to use reports, the events from all event logs need to be consolidated to form a complete audit trail.

The process of consolidating events, referred to as the data collection process, is performed by a separate Active Roles component—Collector. With the Collector wizard, you can configure and execute data collection jobs, and schedule them to run on a regular basis.

The main limitation of change-tracking reports is the fact that the information needs to be collected and consolidated in a separate database before you can build the reports. The data collection process exhibits the following disadvantages:

  • Collecting data may be a very lengthy operation and the database size may grow unacceptable when collecting all events that occurred within a long period of time in a large environment.
  • Collecting data is impossible over slow WAN links. This limitation is inherent to the Active Roles component intended to collect data for reporting.

Management History configuration

Management History > Management History configuration

The configuration of Management History includes the following elements:

  • Change-tracking Policy  Builds the data pertinent to history of changes made to directory objects, and specifies what changes are to be included in the reports on change history and user activity.
  • Change Tracking Log Configuration  Specifies how many change requests are to be stored in the log.
  • Replication of Management History Data  Specifies whether to synchronize Management History data between Administration Services that use different databases.

Change-tracking policy

The behavior of the Management History feature is defined by the policy held in the build-in Policy Object called Built-in Policy - Change Tracking. The policy determines the object types and properties for which to gather the management history information.

To view or modify the policy, display the Properties dialog box for the Built-in Policy - Change Tracking Policy Object (located in container Configuration/Policies/Administration/Builtin), go to the Policies tab, select the policy, and click View/Edit. This displays the Policy Properties dialog box. The Object Types and Properties in that dialog box lists the object types and properties included in Management History. Each entry in the list includes the following information:

  • Object Type  If an object of this type is modified via Active Roles, information about that action is recorded in the Change Tracking log on condition that the modification affects a property specified in the Properties column.
  • Properties  Information about changes to these properties is recorded in the Change Tracking log.

You can manage the list on the tab by using the buttons beneath the list:

  • Add  Displays the dialog box where you can select the object type and properties you want to include in Management History. You have an option to either select individual properties or select all properties.
  • Remove  Deletes the selected entries from the list.
  • View/Edit  Displays the dialog box where you can view or modify the properties for the selected list entry.
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