Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

To understand Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) you must first understand directory services. This article defines directory services and how LDAP structures the entries in a directory service. Pay attention to the basic LDAP components such as attributes, entries, and data information trees (DITs). How does LDAP organize data, and what is LDAP inheritance? Note that there are some variations in LDAP protocols.


LDAP, or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is an open protocol used to store and retrieve data from a hierarchical directory structure. Commonly used to store information about an organization and its assets and users, LDAP is a flexible solution for defining any type of entity and its qualities.

For many users, LDAP can seem difficult to understand because it relies on special terminology, makes use of some uncommon abbreviations, and is often implemented as a component of a larger system of interacting parts. In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the LDAP basics so that you have a good foundation for working with the technology.

Source: Justin Ellingwood,
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