BUILD AN APPROVAL PROCESS FOR ENDPOINT MANAGER APPS USING AZURE IDENTITY GOVERNANCE

Ever wanted to create an approval process for your Windows applications in Endpoint Manager? Some apps require approval as they generate licensing cost at the back end. Sure, you can use many solutions for that like Power Platform (Preferred if you’re not using Identity Governance), Active Roles Server, ServiceNow and more – you name it.

But actually there is a “built-in” solution for that. Not built in with MEM but built in with Azure and Identity Governance. If you’re licensed to use Identity Governance and you use it for services such as Privileged Identity Management (PIM) or Access Reviews your good to go. If not, you first have to onboard it. For the solution here, you need at least an Azure AD Premium P2 license or EMS E5/A5 as user.

In a first step create an application within MEM. Go to the MEM Portal https://endpoint.microsoft.com and select Apps, for example create a line-of-business app using a simple MSI. I have downloaded the latest MIP (AIP) client and uploaded it to Intune without any special configuration or silent install commands (for now).

In a second step, create a group with no user assignment and assign the group to the application created before . This could be an AD synced group or a cloud group. Still nothing special here.

Now the interesting part starts!
Browse to Identity Governance in the Azure Portal / Azure Active Directory and start creating a new Access Package using Entitlement Mangement.

From the Basics settings provide a proper name and description, such as “APP – MIP Client (requires approval)”. This name will also be populated to your end-users (also the description).

Under Resource role select + Groups and Teams and browse for the group you have created earlier. In my case mem-app-u-mip-client. Don’t forget to select also the role the user will have within this group. Usually this is just the “Member” role.

On the Request page you will have 3 options you can select. In the case here, we will use For users in your directory and All members (excluding guests). This does guest users not allow to see or request this particular access package.

Enable the Require approval toggle to Yes. This will give you the options to configure the Approval flow. I have selected the following options, but of course your free to change them:
– Require requestor justification: Yes
– How many stages: 1
– First approver: “my demo user”
– Decision in days: 14 (default)
– Require approver justification: Yes
– If no action taken, forward to alternate approvers?: No (advanced request)
– Enable: Yes

Under Requestor information (preview) you have the option to define some specific questions for the requester of the package. For example, you can request to provide some more information about the reason of the usage of this particular app with some multiple choise values.

Within the Lifecycle options we can now define the time of availability of the Acccess Package itself. Let’s say, this access package is only available for the rollout of our MIP Client and we like to define a timeframe of 1 year (365 days) of availability (this is just a random pick) and we do not allow to extend access to the package.

As next we would also like to enable the Access Review of the package and check back within a couple of month who has access and if this access is still needed (Review of access to our Intune deployed application). The Reviewers could be a specific user (Application Owner for example) or a Self-review where the user has to review the access by himself. Choose the values they fit as its best to your use case.

Review and create your Access Package. This will populate a my access link myaccess.microsoft.com followed by your tenant name and the OpjectId of your Access package. This site is where all the packages and access reviews can be found, ether for the end user to request the package (application) or to review as an application owner.

Enduser experience

Your users are now able to browse to your organization myaccess site by browsing the URL https://myaccess.microsoft.com/ To request the application they select Access package, where our just created package APP – MIP Client (Require approval) will be listed. The request is super easy. The requester has to select + Request access – provide the required information such as the Business reason & justification (if configured within the package) and then to submit the request. During the request process, the user has the opportunity to see the current status of the request including the approval process under his Request history.

Approver experience

The configured approver of the package (which could also be the Manager, currently in Preview) will receive an email to approve or deny the request. As soon the access has been granted, the user account will be added to our created group and the user will receive the assigned application ether to install the application by himself using the Company Portal or if the assignment is set to required within MEM, the application will be forced to install.

Depending on the configured Access review time, the reviewer will receive a similar email to review the access. This could be Self-service for the user or another person within your organization.

Hope this helps to use Access package as your approval process for MEM deployed Windows applications. Let me know what you think! Stay save.

2 thoughts on “BUILD AN APPROVAL PROCESS FOR ENDPOINT MANAGER APPS USING AZURE IDENTITY GOVERNANCE”

  1. Nice Alain! At the end of the lifecycle can we uninstall if the app is no longer assigned to the user via the AAD group?

    Like

    1. Not by default. This you have to script or automate by yourself. For example using an Azure Function or Azure Automation.

      Like

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