Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

Topics: Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, X.500, Directory service Pages: 8 (2626 words) Published: October 30, 2012







JUNE, 2011

LDAP, Light Weight Directory Access Protocol, is an application protocol for reading and editing directories over an IP network. Wiki (2010). It is a standard technology for network directories. Network directories on the other hand are specialized databases that store information about devices, applications, people and other aspects of a computer network. It is an Internet protocol that e mail and other programs use to look up information from a server. It is not limited to contact information or information about people. It is appropriate for any kind of directory like information where fast look-ups and less frequent updates exist. It was created in 1995 as an academic university project, and then commercialized by Netscape in the late 1990’s. it is finding much acceptance because of its status as an Internet standard. It can also be customized to store any type of text or binary data. It is important to note that it is not a directory but a protocol. However, it organizes information in a hierarchical manner using directories. And these directories can store a variety of information and can even be used like a Network Information Service (NIS). Hence, enabling anyone to access their account from any machine on the LDAP enabled network. In many cases, it is used as a virtual phone directory, allowing users to easily access contact information of other users. But it is more flexible than a phone directory. This is because it is capable of referring a query to other LDAP servers throughout the world. Thus, providing an ad-hoc global repository of information.


It is hoped that at the end of this discourse on LDAP even a layman would have a simple yet clear understanding of what LDAP is. To give its advantage over X500.
To reveal the purpose, and use of LDAP generally.
To show how it can be applied to library services,
and its usefulness in libraries in Nigeria.

THE CONCEPT OF LIGHT WEIGHT DIRECTORY ACCESS PROTOCOL (LDAP) To grasp an understanding of what a Light Weight Directory Access Protocol is it is pertinent to understand what a directory and protocol is. A directory is an organized set of records: e.g., a telephone directory which is an alphabetical list of persons and organizations with an address and phone number in each "record". A directory is also a way in which complex information is organized, making it easy to find. Directories list resources—for example, people, books in a library, or merchandise in a department store—and give details about each one. They can be either offline—for example, a telephone book or a department store catalog—or online. The word protocol is from the Greek word “protocollon” which was a leaf of paper glued to a manuscript volume, describing its contents. A protocol can be said to be a description of a set of procedures to be followed when communicating. Protocols are to communication what programming languages are to computations. They can also be used to describe what grammar is to language. In information technology, it is a set of rules that end points in a telecommunication connection use when they communicate. Protocols exist at various levels in a telecommunication connection. For example, there are protocols for the interchange of data at the hard ware devise level as well as at the application program level. In the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI), there are one or more protocols at each layer in the telecommunication exchange that both ends of the exchange must recognize and observe. On the internet, we have the TCP/IP protocols which comprise of: * Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which is a set of rules to exchange messages with other internet points at the...
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