LDAP question

Jim Morris Jim at Morris.net
Thu Sep 28 20:07:54 GMT 2000

Hello greg,

Thursday, September 28, 2000, 5:13:40 PM, you wrote:

g> What exactly does LDAP do ? (give a brief discription)

LDAP stands for "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol". LDAP provides
a standard Internet protocol that allows any LDAP-compatible client
application to communicate with any LDAP-compliant directory server.

What is a "directory" one might ask?  Basically, a directory server
provides a centralized repository for storing information. In this
case, user names, passwords, machine names, and lot's of other things.
Its a lot like using a database server, but a directory server is very
much optimized for lookup performance.  By using an LDAP server for
Samba authentication, you can store all Samba user information on a
central LDAP server. The LDAP directory may also have other
information for each employee in a company - payroll and tax data, and
stuff like that.  The LDAP server takes care of making sure each
client only can see and modify what it is authenticated to access.

To put it in simple terms, a directory service is simply a mechanism
for organizing data, and making it easily accessible to the consumer
of that data. A good paper-based analogy to an LDAP directory service
is the traditional telephone book. A phone book makes information
easily found, using either an alphabetical lookup by last name, or in
the case of businesses, a categorical listing (the yellow pages).

Hope that helps a little.

Best regards,
 Jim                            mailto:Jim at Morris.net

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