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What is LDAP?

Posted On 2008-02-03 by FortyPoundHead
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Tags: Networking Tutorial 
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LDAP is a standard technology for network directories. Network directories are specialized databases that store information about devices, applications, people and other aspects of a computer network.

LDAP is both a network protocol and a standard architecture for organizing the directory data. LDAP was created in 1995 as an academic university project, then commercialized by Netscape in the late 1990s. As a protocol, LDAP is a simplified version of the Data Access Protocol (DAP) used in the earlier standard X.500. LDAP''s chief advantage over its predecessor is the ability to run over TCP/IP. As an architecture, LDAP utilizes a distributed tree structure similar to X.500.

Prior to standards like X.500 and LDAP being adopted, most business networks used prioprietary network directory technology, chiefly Banyan VINES or Novell NDS. LDAP has gradually replaced all of these others as a universal standard "building block." Today''s popular directory technologies like Microsoft Active Directory can use LDAP as a standard foundation to improve their performance and their maintainability.


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