How IRM works for SharePoint lists and libraries in SharePoint 2007

IRM protection is applied to files at the list or library level. When you enable IRM for a list or library, you can protect any file type in that list or library for which a protector is installed on all front-end Web servers. A protector is a program that controls the encryption and decryption of rights-managed files of a specific file format.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes protectors for the following file types:

·          Microsoft Office InfoPath forms

·          The 97-2003 file formats for the following Microsoft Office programs: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

·          The Office Open XML Formats for Microsoft Office Word 2007, Microsoft Office Excel 2007, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007

·          The XML Paper Specification (XPS) format

If your organization plans to use IRM to protect any other file types in addition to those listed above, your server administrator must install protectors for these additional file formats.

When IRM is enabled for a library, rights management applies to all of the files in that library. When IRM is enabled for a list, rights management applies only to files that are attached to list items, not the actual list items.

When people download files in an IRM-enabled list or library, the files are encrypted so that only authorized people can view them. Each rights-managed file also contains an issuance license that imposes restrictions on the people who view the file. Typical restrictions include making a file read-only, disabling the copying of text, preventing people from saving a local copy, and preventing people from printing the file. Client programs that can read IRM-supported file types use the issuance license within the rights-managed file to enforce these restrictions. This is how a rights-managed file retains its protection even after it is downloaded from the server.

The types of restrictions that are applied to a file when it is downloaded from a list or library are based on the individual user’s permissions on the Office SharePoint Server site that contains the file. The following table explains how the permissions on Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites correspond to IRM permissions.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 permissions

IRM permissions

Manage Permissions, Manage Web Site Full control (as defined by the client program): This permission generally allows a user to read, edit, copy, save, and modify permissions of rights-managed content.
Edit Items, Manage Lists, Add and Customize Pages Edit, Copy, and Save: A user can print a file only if the Allow users to print documents check box is selected on the Information Rights Management Settings page for the list or library.
View Items Read: A user can read the document, but cannot copy or modify its content. A user can print only if the Allow users to print documents check box is selected on the Information Rights Management Settings page for the list or library.

No other permissions correspond directly to IRM permissions.


~ by Neha Sinha on March 7, 2008.

2 Responses to “How IRM works for SharePoint lists and libraries in SharePoint 2007”

  1. Hi Neha, good article. I have a question about the cost of using IRM. We are planning to buy MOSS 2007 with Enterprise/Standard CALs. What else do we need to buy in order to utilize IRM. Do we have to buy WRM and IRM CALs for each sharepoint user?


  2. Hi Neha, it’s a good one but the content of this article is very less, it will be good, if you can write more on this topic.

    One of our client want’s to implement this IRM with sharepoint, so i need help in this regard.


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