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:
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
The configuration of Management History includes the following elements:
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:
You can manage the list on the tab by using the buttons beneath the list: