About LDAP

LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It is application protocol used for querying and modifying the directory services which run over TCP/IP. The LDAP is used by programs like e-mail and other programs to look an information from a server. "LDAP-aware" client programs are used to query the LDAP servers to look up the desired entries in a number of ways. LDAP servers indexes all the data in their entries, and the "filters" are used to select the desired data and return the desired information only.

Take an example translated in the plain english- "Search for all the people located in washington whose name contain "john" that have the e-mail address . Return their full name, contact number, description,  e-mail, title and work-profile.

LDAP are used for the encryption certificates, pointers to printers and other services available over the network. LDAP can be used  for any kind of directory-like information, where you require the fast lookups and less-frequent updates.

As LDAP is a protocol, LDAP doesn"t define how the programs work on either the client or server side what It defines is the "language" used by client programs to talk to servers (and servers to servers).It is possible that on the client side, a client may be an email program, a printer browser, or an address book.  LDAP doesn"t includes the security or encryption, so updates usually requires the  additional protection such as an encrypted SSL(Secure Shell) connection to the LDAP server.

LDAP also defines: Permissions, which are set by the administrator to allow only certain group of people to access the LDAP database, and optionally keep certain data private.

The LDAP server daemon is refered as Slapd. Slapd supports a variety of different database backends which can be used with it.

These includes the primary choice BDB, which is a high-performance transactional database backend; LDBM, a lightweight DBM based backend; SHELL, a backend interface to arbitrary shell scripts and PASSWD, a simple backend interface to the passwd file.


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