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using SCCM 2012 RC in a LAB - Part 13. using Role Based Administration to define permissions in the ConfigMgr Console

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In Part 1 of this series we got our AD and SCCM servers ready, and then we installed System Center 2012 Configuration Manager as a standalone Primary site. In Part 2 we configured the SCCM server further by adding some Windows Server roles necessary for the following Configuration Manager 2012 functionality, Software Update Point (SUP) and Operating System Deployment. In Part 3 we configured the server further by Enabling Discovery methods and creating Boundary's and Boundary Groups. In Part 4 we configured Client Settings, Added roles and Distributed the Configmgr Client to our Computers within the LAB, then in Part 5 we enabled the Endpoint Protection Role and configured Endpoint Protection settings and targeted a collection called All Windows 7 Computers with these settings and policies.


In Part 6 we configured our SUP further to Deploy software updates to our All Windows 7 Computers and Build Windows 7 X64 collections. In Part 7 we used the Build and Capture process to create our Base Windows 7 X64 wim image. In Part 8 we created a USMT 4 package to migrate the users data using hardlinking and then we imported the captured image into ConfigMgr and created a Deploy Windows 7 X64 task sequence. We created a Deploy Windows 7 X64 Collection and set some User Device Affinity collection variables.


In Part 9 we created an Application, and created a deployment type for that application to only install if the Primary User was True for that device (User Device Affinity), we then copied our Task Sequence (duplicated it), deployed the new Task Sequence, added a computer to the new collection and then PXE booted the computer to the Deployment Menu. In Part 10 we monitored the Deployment process in a lot of detail to how UDA sent state messages and we verified that our application installed on the users Primary Device, in addition we modified our collection variables, and added a prestart command to our boot image to prompt for the SMSTSUdaUsers. In Part 11 we setup the Reporting Services Point Role and verified that reporting was working.


In Part 12 we demonstrated a new feature in ConfigMgr which allows us to Patch operating system WIM images using Offline Servicing. This means that you can apply Windows Updates by using Component-Based Servicing (CBS) to update the your previously captured WIM images. Now we will look at how Role Based Administration is used within ConfigMgr and we will create a new custom role to allow a user (or users within a Security Group) to view Software Update Reports. This is useful because you will probably want one team to take care of configuring and deploying software updates, and to grant another (Management etc) the capability of reviewing Compliance Reports.


Note: From this point on, all parts in this series will be created using Configuration Manager 2012 Release Candidate 2 unless otherwise specified.


For more information about Role Based Administration and for best practise advice please review the following:-



Security: Role-Based Administration Section of Whats new in Configuration Manager 2012 here

Planning for Security in Configuration Manager 2012 - http://technet.micro...y/gg712284.aspx

Introducing Role-Based Administration in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager - http://blogs.technet...on-manager.aspx



Step 1. Understanding Role Based Administration


In Configuration Manager 2007, administrative access to site resources is controlled by using class and instance security settings that are verified by the SMS Provider computer to allow access to site information and configuration settings. System Center 2012 Configuration Manager introduces role-based administration to centrally define and manage hierarchy-wide security access settings for all sites and site settings.


Instead of using individual class rights, role-based administration uses security roles to group typical administrative tasks that are assigned to multiple administrative users. Security scopes replace individual instance rights per object to group the permissions that are applied to site objects. The combination of security roles, security scopes, and collections allow you to segregate the administrative assignments that meet your organization requirements and this combination defines what an administrative user can view and manage in the Configuration Manager hierarchy.

Role-based administration provides the following benefits:

  • Sites are no longer administrative boundaries. They were with Configuration Manager 2007.
  • You create administrative users for the hierarchy and assign security to them one time only.
  • You create content for the hierarchy and assign security to that content one time only.
  • All security assignments are replicated and available throughout the hierarchy.
  • There are built-in security roles to assign the typical administration tasks and you can create your own custom security roles.
  • Administrative users see only the objects that they have permissions to manage.
  • You can audit administrative security actions

What roles are included ?


The following 14 built in security roles are included:-

  • Operations Administrator
  • Full Administrator
  • Infrastructure Administrator
  • Security Administrator
  • Software Update Manager
  • Read-Only Analyst
  • Remote Tools Operator
  • Operating System Deployment Manager
  • Application Deployment Manager
  • Application Author
  • Application Administrator
  • Asset Manager
  • Endpoint Protection Manager
  • Compliance Settings Manager

Step 2. Implementing a custom security role.

Perform the following on your Configuration Manager 2012 server as SMSadmin.


In the ConfigMgr console, click on Administration and expand Security, click on Security Roles. The 14 built-in roles appear.


Security Roles.png


We want to create a custom security role to allow users assigned to that role to read Software Update Reports. As there is no option to create a blank new role, we must use the Copy function to create our new security role. Select the built-in Software Updates Manager role, right click and choose Copy.


software update manager role.png


When the Copy Security Role wizard appears, give the new role a name based on the function, you can name the new role as follows:- SUM Reports Reader it's also a good idea to fill in a Description of the role as per the screenshot below, notice all the predefined permissions assigned to the Software Updates Manager role appear selected in the Permissions pane. We will edit these to only leave those permissions that are required to run reports.


Sup Reports Reader security role.png


using the Customize the permissions for this copy of the security role, expand any permission not required and change it from YES to NO (you can double click on each one to change). For example, expand the Alerts permissions and set them all to NO as none of these permissions is required to read reports.


alerts no.png


Configure the Permissions so the only the following are set to Yes

  • Site: Read

  • Software Updates: Read, Run Report

read and run report.png


Click OK when done, the custom SUM Reports Reader role now appears in your console.


custom role created.png



Step 3. Create a Global Security Group in Active Directory

Perform the following on your Active Directory Domain Controller server as Domain Administrator.


Now that we have created our custom security role, we want to assign users to that role. In Active Directory Users and Computers create a new Global Security Group called Software Updates Management Report Readers as per the screenshot below.


To create a new global security group, right click on Users, select New, Group.


new security group.png


Add some users to that group by selecting those users and right-clicking, choose Add to a Group


add to a group.png


when the Select Groups wizard appears, type in the name of our security group and click on Check Names, click ok when done.


select groups.png


you've now added some users to the Active Directory security group called Software Updates Management Report Readers.


add to group success.png


Step 4. Assign the Active Directory Security Group to our custom role

Perform the following on your Configuration Manager 2012 server as SMSadmin.


In the Administration pane, expand security and select Administrative Users.


administrative uses.png


In the ribbon click on Add User or Group


add user or group.png


when the Add User or Group wizard appears select browse and search for our previously created Active Directory Security Group, type in Software Updates Management Report Readers and click ok


user or group.png


next we need to assign this group with our custom role, so select Add to add security roles, scroll through the list of roles and select our custom role: SUM Reports Reader as per the screenshot below


add custom role.png


Click OK when done (leave the Assigned security scopes and collections as they are)


Our active directory security group is now assigned the custom SUM Reports Reader security role.


sum reports reader admin group.png



Step 5. Verify the custom role has the permissions we need

Perform the following on your Configuration Manager 2012 server as a member of the Software Updates Management Report Readers active directory security group.


We will now test our new custom role by starting the Configuration Manager console as a user which is a member of the previously created active directory security group. To do this right click on the Configuration Manager console icon in the system tray and hold down the shift key, then right click again (while holding down shift) on the new configuration manager console icon so that we can get a context based menu option called Run as Different User.


run as different user.png


when the security credentials window appears, type in the credentials of a domain user that you have previously added to the Software Updates Management Report Readers active directory security group, click ok when done.


After a while, the Configuration Manager console will appear as it would if started by that user and you can immediatly see that it looks different, only the bits that are relevant to this user running Software Update reports are displayed in the console.


console as testuser.png


When you add (or remove) permissions from the role, this view will change however you should close and re-open the console to see the new view with the credentials of your desired user. We have already defined our permissions so lets select Monitoring and expand Reporting and then select Reports. Notice how only 48 software update related reports appear (in comparison to the 445 or so reports that a member of the Full Administrator security role would be able to view).


48 reports.png


and below is what a Full Administrator would see in the same Reports pane


445 reports.png


The difference in the number and type of reports available and what you can do/see in the Configuration Manager console is governed by Role Based Administration, cool huh ?

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I have followed your guide and I applaud you for this. However I have not been able to get this part to work.


When trying to run as different user I get an error message telling me that the account does not meet the requirements. I've tried with various accounts and gone over the steps again with no success. Any ideas?

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Good morning,

i havequestiongs related to the above process with a slightly different condition.

My reporting server is installed and appears to be working, i have setup a couple Security Scopes to segregate administrative access to certain clients. Configured limited user roles and such, attached collections and tested the console access to assets without many issues.


The problem i am having is related to reporting. when a limited user ( with a defined security scope) runs reports. the output is not restricted to their collection it pulls data from all Client Systems.


i understand the concept that SQL reporting does not "scope" but was under the impression that the console would do this for us.


any suggestions on where my permissions are out of whack. it appears my Role based conigurations are ok.



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Great series! I am looking for a way to allow the desktop techs to access the Discovery Methods, specifically 'Active Directory System Discovery,' so they can 'Run Full Discovery Now' while still preventing them from enabling/disabling other discovery methods? Is there anyway to do this? I can't even find the Discovery Methods permissions within the different security roles.




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I'm still bit confused with the RBA, could you please guide me the best practice to create a security role for help desk people, the requirements as follow:

1. Remote Control ( I got this working)

2. Application Deployment


I'm stuck with the application deployment not working, so I just want the help desk people only have access to do remote control and application deployment and nothing else.



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Guys if you download the SCCM 2012 Toolkit, it includes the RBA Viewer which helps you build custom roles. This also helps you get an idea of what they can see in the console and what reports they can run. You still have to test workflow but it helps setting permissions in a better way than doing it from the console when setting up a role.

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