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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    1,376

    Question Understanding LDAP

    I've seen a lot of 'hype' over LDAP lately. I have a basic understanding of what it does, but I'm hoping some people "in the know" can help me out a bit.

    What advantages does LDAP have over a MySQL table, or over flat data files? In other words, why should I make my corporate telephone database (which seems to be the #1 thing people use LDAP for?) in LDAP, as opposed to MySQL?

    I've seen a lot on what LDAP does, but I'm having a hard time understanding what makes it better, or even different, from other methods of storing information. Can someone please help me out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
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    283
    i have a base understanding, so you may want to defer to someone more knowledgeable. but basically, it provides a "standard" method of accessing this sort of information. a ldap directory is highly optimized for read access (much like mysql i suppose) but it's a standard interface.

    so if you had a mysql directory (perfectly acceptable) and i had one as well, we would probably have different fields, etc.. and thus your application to query your directory would not work on mine.

    if we both standardize on ldap, then we can use the same tools to access each other directories... kinda like the whole idea behind XML, providing a common format to work with (in theory)

    as for specifics, you may want to wait for someone more knowledgeable in this area...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    1,376
    Hehe, okay, that does help a lot -- the problem is actually that too many "knowledgable" people are eager to explain why using X.500 directly over TCP/IP is better; it was the non-technical answer you gave that I was hoping for.

    Now I have an urge to play around with it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    283
    i hear you, sometimes it's easier to just get the parts that actually affect you eh? i've been doing a *bit* of reading on it lately, it seems it's not quite ready to become prevalent yet... i suppose it's just a matter of do you need to expose this sort of service to your own applications or other people? right now, seeing as there isn't really *full* support for it (ie. php has partial but beta support for ldap, as do a lot of other languages) it may be better to just do the mysql thing...

    but definitey a technology i'll be watching...

  5. #5
    Hi - I think that using LDAP creates a central email directory that some email clients can use directly, therefore there is only one place needed to update an email address and then everyone who uses the system will get the correct address from their email client address book straight away and without doing anything themselves.

    YB

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Darmstadt, Germany
    Posts
    1,096
    yep, that's an example for the ldap use ... for example netscape can work with ldap, outlook (express?) does work with it too, but imho has some problems of incompatability... ain't sure though.
    we're using it at work, and it's a nice thing, that's for sure.

    best regards,
    In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

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