Deploying OpenLDAPby Tom Jackiewicz
For all the work and time invested in using LDAP, not enough time has been spent designing the layout and the logic of directories. End users and system architects often do not give appropriate attention to the deployment of LDAP as a standards-based system with interfacing ability. Thus, many of LDAPs best featuresespecially OpenLDAPbecome unusable.
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Whatever happened to the glorious dreams for X.500 and X.400? Roughly speaking, as explained in the book, they were found by many to be simply too cumbersome and overreaching. LDAP and its latest incarnation as OpenLDAP, has largely supplanted X.500 in terms of actual implementation. I recommend the book's Introduction as a succinct history of how LDAP arose in the 90s. It summarises the many RFCs that went out for it and X.500. Gradually, we see the convergence to today's state of affairs. Which the rest of the book explains in detail. Amusingly, we find that at one point, the X.500 proponents were expecting it to supplant TCP/IP!? Such amazing conceit. Well, LDAP blew it away. You get advice on installing OpenLDAP. Which is actually pretty straightforward. An experienced sysadmin will not have any problems here. Then there follow several chapters on running it and also writing code to program it. OpenLDAP comes with an API that does require some explanations. Luckily, the API can be accessed via calls in several languages like C and Java. Perl examples are also supplied. The author is commendably ecumenical about supplying example code in several languages. In keeping with the open source spirit of this project.