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Understanding LDAP

calendar_month 18 Aug 2006, 00:00
People and businesses are increasingly relying on networked computer systems to support distributed applications. These distributed applications might interact with computers on the same local area network (LAN), within a corporate intranet, or anywhere on the worldwide Internet. To improve functionality, ease of use and to enable cost-effective administration of distributed applications information about the services, resources, users, and other objects accessible from the applications needs to be organized in a clear and consistent manner. Much of this information can be shared among many applications, but it must also be protected to prevent unauthorized modification or the disclosure of private information.

Information describing the various users, applications, files, printers, and other resources accessible from a network is often collected into a special database, sometimes called a directory. As the number of different networks and applications has grown, the number of specialized directories of information has also grown, resulting in islands of information that cannot be shared and are difficult to maintain. If all of this information could be maintained and accessed in a consistent and controlled manner, it would provide a focal point for integrating a distributed environment into a consistent and seamless system.