Active Directory is based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and supports the LDAP v3 specification defined in RFC 2251. And while many of the AD tools and interfaces, such as ADSI, abstract and streamline LDAP operations to make things easier, any good AD administrator or developer must have a thorough understanding of LDAP to fully utilize Active Directory. This chapter will cover the some of the basic LDAP-related tasks you may need to do with Active Directory, along with other items related to searching and manipulating objects in the directory.
The Anatomy of an Object
The Active Directory schema is composed of a hierarchy of classes. These classes support inheritance, which enables reuse of existing class definitions. At the top of the inheritance tree is the top class, from which every class in the schema is derived. Table 4-1 contains a list of some of the attributes that are available from the top class, and subsequently are defined on every object that is created in Active Directory.