LDAP Service Deployment (lsd)

Status: Concluded November, 1998


  • Chris Apple
  • Roland Hedberg

Description of Working Group:

The LDAP Service Deployment working group will explore, discuss, and document solutions for directory deployment issues related to the installed base of LDAP implementations. Specifically, the working group seeks to publish specifications for areas which currently lack concensus on solutions. The areas which the working group will focus on are:

  • guidelines for writers of new schema
  • locating LDAP directory servers
  • naming and interconnection guidelines
  • minimum schema for LDAPv3 white pages (WP) interoperation
  • schema inconsistencies and mappings

Community needs are causing directory services schema to proliferate. The resulting specifications are sometimes inconsistent in both form and content. These inconsistencies contribute to interoperability problems encountered by users of LDAP technology today. Providing schema writers with guidelines will address inconsistencies of form, providing implementors with better specifications on which to base schema support in their products and services. Documentation of schema inconsistencies and mappings will address existing content inconsistencies, providing guidance for implementors seeking to better cope with the plethora of current, schema-related interoperability problems.

There is also a growing community need for a minimum schema for LDAPv3 white pages directory service interoperation. Currently, there are several different and inconsistent meta schema for intended use as a reference in implementing white pages services. While meta schema are valuable models on which to base LDAP-specific mappings of a schema, they are not directly usable by LDAP service implementors today. Publishing an implementor-endorsed, directly usable, standards-track white pages schema for LDAPv3 with extensibility designed into the schema specification, is a requirement for successful deployment of LDAP in the Internet.

The prevailing model for LDAP service deployment, that of implementing LDAP islands, is becoming inadequate for new and emerging uses of LDAP technology. Among the most pressing of requirements associated with these new and emerging uses of LDAP technology is the need for a widely and consistently supported interconnection methodology for LDAP servers. Providing LDAP implementors and users with some basic guidance on how to locate an LDAP server is the first step. More comprehensive guidance on naming and interconnection is also needed. Examples of topics relevant to this more comprehensive scope of guidance are:

  • managing the root naming context for LDAP directories
  • using of dc-based and X.500-based naming
  • guidelines for client and server implementors