The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a directory service protocol that runs directly over the TCP/IP stack. The information model (both for data and namespaces) of LDAP is similar to that of the X.500 OSI directory service, but with fewer features and lower resource requirements than X.500. Unlike most other Internet protocols, LDAP has an associated API that simplifies writing Internet directory service applications. The LDAP API is applicable to directory management and browser applications that do not have directory service support as their primary function. LDAP cannot create directories or specify how a directory service operates.