Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud

Open Source Cloud: Article

How to Create a Directory Service Using the OpenLDAP Directory Server

A directory service is an application that stores, retrieves, and modifies information about network resources

A directory service is an application(s) that stores, retrieves, and modifies information about network resources such as network users. The actual data is stored in a database; a database service is an abstract layer on top of the database. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is a lightweight protocol for accessing directory services. LDAP is based on entries; an entry is a set of attributes identified by a globally unique Distinguished Name (DN). Each of a directory entry's attributes has a type and one or more values. The attributes in a directory entry's distinguished name(DN) are arranged in a hierarchy from right to left with the rightmost attribute as the top entry and with the leftmost attribute(s) that are unique to its level called a Relative Distinguished Name (RDN). A DN is a sequence of RDNs. Some examples of attribute types are discussed in Table 1.

An entry in a directory is identified by a distinguished name (DN). An example of a directory entry's distinguished name is:


In the example DN, the base entry/root is "dc=example,dc=com." The relative distinguished name is "cn=dvohra." LDAP defines operations for adding, searching, modifying, and deleting directory entries. An LDAP server is required to provide a LDAP directory service. OpenLDAP is an open source software package that includes a LDAP directory server (slapd). OpenLDAP is built on top of the Berkeley DB, an embedded database. In this article we'll create a directory service using the OpenLDAP directory server.

Installing OpenLDAP
Download OpenLDAP for Windows. Double-click on the OpenLDAP application openldap-2.2.29-db-4.3.29-openssl-0.9.8a-BDB_ONLY-win32_Setup.exe. The OpenLDAP setup wizard gets started as shown in Figure 1. Click on the Next button.

Accept the license agreement and click on the Next button. Select the default destination, C:\Program Files\OpenLDAP and click on the Next button. Select components BDB-tools and OpenLDAP-slapd as NT service and click on Next as shown in Figure 2.

Specify a Start Menu folder and click on Next. Select additional tasks such as "automatically start OpenLDAP NT service after reboot" and "Create a desktop item" and click on Next. Click on the Install button to install OpenLDAP as shown in Figure 3.

Configuring OpenLDAP
The configuration for a slapd server is specified in the slapd.conf configuration file. Configuration information comes in three types: global, back-end and database. The configuration information is specified with directives; the global directives precede the back-end directives that precede the database directives.

The global directives apply to all back-ends and database types. Some of the commonly used global directives are discussed in Table 2

Back-end directives specify a back-end and apply to all database instances in a back-end. The commonly used back-end directive is as follows:

backend <type>

The back-end directive specifies a back-end declaration. Some of the back-end types are bdb (Berkeley DB transactional back-end) and sql (SQL programmable back-end).

Database directives specify information about a database instance. Some of the commonly used database directives are discussed in Table 3.

Next, we'll modify the directives in the slapd.conf file in the C:\Program Files\OpenLDAP directory of the OpenLDAP server we installed earlier. The database directive is already set to bdb for the Berkeley DB database. Set the suffix, rootdn, and rootpw as shown in following listing:

database      bdb
suffix      "dc=example,dc=com"
rootdn      "cn=Manager,dc=example,dc=com"
rootpw      openldap
directory      ./data

Creating a Directory
Next, we'll create a directory in the OpenLDAP LDAP server. For example, create a directory of JDeveloper developers. LDAP entries are represented in the LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) in an .ldif format. The format of an entry in n LDIF file is as follows:

dn: <distinguished name>
<attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
<attrdesc>: <attrvalue>

Create a jdevDir.ldif file for a directory of JDeveloper developers. A root/base DN was specified in the slapd.conf file with the suffix directive:

suffix      "dc=example,dc=com"

In the .ldif file add an entry for the base DN. Each directory entry is identified with a dn attribute. The objectClass attributes specify the type of data, and required and optional attributes in an entry. Object classes form a class hierarchy and some of the commonly used object classes are top, organization, and organizationalPerson. The object classes that may be specified in a directory entry and the attributes that may be specified or have to be specified for an object class are listed in the C:\Program Files\OpenLDAP\schema\core.schema file:

dn: dc=example,dc=com
objectClass: top
objectClass: dcObject
objectClass: organization
dc :example
o: Oracle

Next, add an entry for an organizational unit called jdeveloper under dc=example, dc=com. Directory entries in an LDIF file are separated with a blank line.

   dn: ou=jdeveloper, dc=example, dc=com
objectClass: organizationalUnit
ou: jdeveloper

More Stories By Deepak Vohra

Deepak Vohra is a Sun Certified Java 1.4 Programmer and a Web developer.

More Stories By Ajay Vohra

Ajay Vohra is a senior solutions architect with DataSynapse Inc.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
karan 02/20/08 12:18:02 AM EST

hi acn i know hoe to create directory structure for
dn: uid: [email protected],dc=mail,dc=xyz,dc=de.

and our suffix is dc=mail,dc=xyz,dc=de.

Do reply me at [email protected]
please help me out i m getting so much problem in creating directory scructure

Tom Britton 07/12/07 04:57:45 PM EDT

LDAP is an overly complex, arcane system for storing and retrieving informtion, some of which can be used for authentication. This article may be useful for extending the authors' list of publications but does little to help explain or demystify LDAP, OpenLdap, or anything else. It uses jargon with abandon, and where some of the jargon is defined, it provides no explanation, providing no understanding. As a cookbook, its recipes are too terse to be useful. Of course in a magazine article, space is at a premium, but the authors have used their allocation very poorly. A waste of time and print space.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Headquartered in Plainsboro, NJ, Synametrics Technologies has provided IT professionals and computer systems developers since 1997. Based on the success of their initial product offerings (WinSQL and DeltaCopy), the company continues to create and hone innovative products that help its customers get more from their computer applications, databases and infrastructure. To date, over one million users around the world have chosen Synametrics solutions to help power their accelerated business or per...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER gives detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPOalso offers sp...
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time t...