Home > Articles

This chapter is from the book

Active Directory Integration with ConfigMgr

AD (or, more formally, Active Directory Domain Services [ADDS]) is the central information store used by Windows Server to maintain entity and relationship data for a wide variety of objects in a networked environment. It provides a set of core services, including authentication, authorization, and directory services. ConfigMgr utilizes ADDS to support many of its features.

ConfigMgr uses ADDS implicitly to support authentication and authorization through the use of computer accounts, primarily through use of the Local System account, and optionally with service accounts to perform certain operations. ConfigMgr can also use published information about its sites and services, making that information easily accessible to ADDS clients. ConfigMgr clients treat AD as a trusted location for obtaining information to confirm the identity of a site’s MPs. To take advantage of these capabilities, you must extend the AD schema to create classes of objects specific to ConfigMgr.

While it is not necessary to extend the schema for ConfigMgr operations, it is required for certain ConfigMgr features. Extending the schema greatly simplifies ConfigMgr deployment and operations. The following section discusses the process of extending the AD schema. Chapter 4 discusses the benefits and feature dependencies of the extended schema and why you might want to include schema extensions in your design.

Implementing Schema Extensions

All objects in ADDS are instances of classes defined in the ADDS schema. The schema provides definitions for common objects such as users, computers, and printers. The schema also defines attributes used to describe objects. The schema is extensible, allowing administrators and applications to define new object classes and modify existing classes for an organization’s instance of AD. The ConfigMgr schema extensions are relatively low risk, involving only a specific set of classes with specific object and attribute names that are not likely to cause conflict. However, you should test any schema modifications before applying them to your production environment.

Before actually extending the schema for ConfigMgr, run the dcdiag and repladmin commands included as part of the Domain Controller role in Windows Server. These tools validate that all domain controllers are replicating and healthy. Because it may be difficult to validate the output of these tools, output the results to a text file by using the following syntax:

dcdiag > %temp%\dcdiag.log

In the case of repladmin, the following syntax (all on one line) helps to validate the state of replication:

repadmin /replsum /bysrc /bydest /sort:delta > %temp%\repladmin.log

Review the output of the repladmin command to ensure that all domain controllers show no replication failures (that is, 0 in the Fails column). For more information on how to perform schema changes, see https://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/desktop/ms676929.aspx.

After you extend the ADDS schema and perform the other steps necessary to publish site information to ADDS, ConfigMgr sites can publish information to ADDS. The next sections describe the process for extending the schema and configuring sites to publish to AD, as well as the AD objects and attributes created by the schema extensions.

Tools for Extending a Schema

You can extend a schema in either of two ways:

  • Running the ExtADSch.exe utility from the ConfigMgr installation media

  • Using the LDIFDE (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol [LDAP] Data Interchange Format Directory Exchange) utility included with Windows Server to import the ConfigMgr_ad_schema.ldf LDIF file

To use all the features of ConfigMgr, you must use AD with a Windows Server 2008 or later domain functional level. All site systems must be members of a Windows Server AD domain that meets that domain functional level (though it does not need to be the same domain or in some cases the same forest). ConfigMgr clients may be joined to a workgroup or a domain. For a complete list of Active Directory support requirements, see https://docs.microsoft.com/sccm/core/plan-design/configs/support-for-active-directory-domains.

Using ExtADSch

Using ExtADSch.exe is the simplest way to extend a schema. Simply run it with the appropriate permissions, and ExtADSch.exe creates a log file called extadsch.log, located in the root of the system drive (%systemdrive%), which lists all schema modifications it has made and the status of the operation. Following the list of attributes that have been created, the log should include the entry Successfully extended the Active Directory schema.


LDIFDE is a powerful command-line utility for extracting and updating directory service data on ADDS domain controllers. LDIFDE provides command-line switches that allow you to specify a number of options, including some you may want to use when updating the schema for ConfigMgr.

Find detailed information about using LDIFDE at https://docs.microsoft.com/previous-versions/windows/it-pro/windows-server-2012-R2-and-2012/cc731033(v=ws.11) and ConfigMgr-specific instructions at https://docs.microsoft.com/sccm/core/plan-design/network/extend-the-active-directory-schema. The following example is a typical command to update the schema for ConfigMgr:

LDIFDE -i -f – ConfigMgr_ad_schema.ldf -v -j %temp%\SchemaUpdate.log

The verbose logging available with LDIFDE includes more detail than the log file generated by ExtADSch.exe. The ConfigMgr_ad_schema.ldf file allows you to review all intended changes before they are applied, or you can provide the ConfigMgr_ad_schema.ldf to your Active Directory administrators for them to review if required.

Extending a Schema

Each AD forest has a single domain controller with the role of schema master. All schema modifications are made on the schema master. To modify the schema, log on using an account in the forest root domain that is a member of the Schema Admins group.

The ConfigMgr schema modifications create 4 new classes and 14 new attributes used with these classes. The classes represent the following:

  • Management Points (MS-SMS-Management-Point): Clients can use this information to find a management point and confirm the identity of a management point in case the policy signing key changes (for example, during a site recovery).

  • Roaming Boundary Ranges (MS-SMS-Roaming-Boundary-Range): Clients can use this information to locate ConfigMgr services based on their network location.

  • Server Locator Points (MS-SMS-Server-Locator-Point): This legacy class is created but not used as part of ConfigMgr Current Branch schema extensions. It was used in ConfigMgr 2007 to enable clients to find an SLP and determine their assigned site. The SLP role no longer exists; its functionality has been integrated into the MP.

  • ConfigMgr Sites (MS-SMS-Site): Clients can retrieve important information about the site from this AD object.

Objects and attributes in the ConfigMgr schema modification are prefixed with MS-SMS, which helps minimize the risk of collisions with other custom or application-specific schema extensions. In addition, all objects and attributes in the schema have the isMemberOfPartialAttributeSet flag set to True. This flag causes instances of these objects and attributes to be included as part of the partial attribute set and marked for replication to all global catalog domain controllers in the forest. This allows a site server that is a member of a domain to advertise its existence to all clients in the forest instead of just that domain.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020