Administrators and users must be able to view and modify Microsoft® Active Directory® directory service objects from a user interface. Administrators manage Active Directory using different Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-ins, specifically, the Active Directory Users and Computers, Active Directory Sites and Services, Active Directory Domains and Trusts, and Active Directory Schema Manager snap-ins. The end user, if granted appropriate permissions, can also use the Active Directory MMC snap-ins to view Active Directory objects. The Windows 2000 shell can also be used to view Active Directory objects. The Windows 2000 shell enables users to browse objects stored in the directory from either the directory item in My Network Places on the desktop or through the search dialogs available in the Start menu.
Active Directory supports a UI that adapts to meet the needs of administrators and end users. Active Directory enables you to extend the user interface that represents existing object classes as well as new classes added to the schema. The following elements can be used to control or extend the UI for each class defined in the schema:
Beginning with Windows 2000, the system provides COM objects that implement common dialog boxes for working with directory objects. These dialog boxes provide a common UI without having to reimplement these dialog boxes.
Active Directory administrative snap-ins, context menus, and property pages can be extended using MMC extension snap-ins. Other MMC extensions, such as taskpads, namespace items, control bars, and toolbars can also be implemented. For more information, see Extending the Active Directory Administrative Snap-ins.