Active Directory Service Interfaces


Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) is a set of COM interfaces used to access the features of directory services from different network providers in a distributed computing environment to present a single set of directory service interfaces for managing network resources. Administrators and developers can use ADSI services to enumerate and manage the resources in a directory service, no matter which network environment contains the resource.

ADSI enables common administrative tasks, such as adding new users, managing printers, and locating resources in a distributed computing environment.

Where Applicable

Network Administrators can use ADSI to automate common tasks, such as adding users and groups, managing printers, and setting permissions on network resources.

Independent Software Vendors and end-user developers can use ADSI to "directory enable" their products and applications. Services can publish themselves in a directory, clients can use the directory to find the services, and both can use the directory to find and manipulate other objects of interest. Because Active Directory Service Interfaces are independent of the underlying directory service(s), directory-enabled products and applications can operate successfully in multiple network and directory environments.

Developer Audience

You can write ADSI client applications in many languages. For most administrative tasks, ADSI defines interfaces and objects accessible from Automation-compliant languages like Microsoft® Visual Basic®, Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript), and Java to the more performance and efficiency-conscious languages such as C and C++. A good foundation in COM programming is useful to the ADSI programmer.

Run-Time Requirements

The Active Directory runs on Windows® 2000 and Windows Server 2003 domain controllers. However, client applications using ADSI may be written and run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT® 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP. There are client components available for all these operating systems available on the MSDN® Web site. In addition, developers will want the ADSI SDK, also available on the MSDN Web site.

See Also

The Component Object Model

COM Clients and Servers

Active Directory

About ADSI

General information about ADSI.

Using ADSI

Programmer's Guide to using ADSI.

ADSI Quick-start Tutorials

Using ADSI with Automation to manage directories.

ADSI Reference

Documentation of ADSI interfaces and methods.