Lightweight Directory Access Protocol


The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a directory service protocol that runs on a layer above the TCP/IP stack, and provides a mechanism for connecting to, searching, and modifying Internet directories.

The LDAP directory service is based on a client-server model. The function of LDAP is to allow access to an existing directory.

The data model (data and namespace) of LDAP is similar to that of the X.500 OSI directory service, but with lower resource requirements due to its streamlined features. The associated LDAP API simplifies writing Internet directory service applications.

Where Applicable

The LDAP API is applicable to directory management and browser applications that do not have directory service support as their primary function. Conversely, LDAP is neither applicable to creating directories, nor specifying how a directory service operates.

Developer Audience

The LDAP API documentation in the Platform SDK is intended for experienced C and C++ programmers and Internet directory developers.

LDAP supports C and C++ programming languages.

A familiarity with directory services and the LDAP Client/Server Model are necessary for the developmental use of the LDAP API.

Run-Time Requirements

Client programs that use the LDAP API run on Microsoft® Windows XP, Windows® 2000, and the Active Directory Client Extension for Windows NT® 4.0 SP6a, Windows Me, Windows 98, and Windows 95. All platforms must have TCP/IP installed.

Active Directory® servers that support client programs using the LDAP API include Windows 2000 Server and the Windows Server 2003 family.

See Also

Directory Services

About LDAP

General information about the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol API.

Using LDAP

Programmer's guide to using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol API.

LDAP Reference

Information about specific LDAP functions, interfaces, session options, and error codes.