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We are at the end of the longest chapter in the book, and we still have not covered all of the relevant technologies. Most programming languages offer LDAP APIs, but there are too many to cover within the scope of this book. We can only briefly mention a few. If you want more information, check the Web sites provided later in this chapter.
Active Directory is Microsoft's version of LDAP. First made available in Windows 2000, it runs only on Microsoft platforms, which is why we did not dedicate more space to it. This is not meant to imply that the Microsoft solution is not important. Indeed, Active Directory is more than just a directory server. It replaces Windows NT domains, similar to Novell's NDS. Active Directory organizes the domains in trees, which implies a hierarchical structure. You can inherit security configuration down the tree, greatly simplifying the organization and administration of the domain. Active Directory also allows replication and access control lists, and it holds a database of the installed software. Clearly, Microsoft has made LDAP an important part of the operating system.
ADSI (active directory service interface) is an API that one could consider as Microsoft's version of JNDI from Sun Microsystems. ADSI, based on Microsoft's COM (component object model) model, is a Microsoft standard defining how applications should talk to each other. COM can be implemented using a wide range of programming languages, including the well-known Visual Basic. But even Perl knows about COM, and portings of Perl libraries for UNIX are also available.
If you need more information about ADSI and Active Directory, check out Microsoft's Web site, where you will find good documentation and working examples.
There are yet other languages we have not discussed. In this final section, we mention a few other languages that can serve as an LDAP API. The list is not complete. Note that by the time you read this book, there may well be new APIs or even new programming languages. In addition, because Internet URLs frequently change, the URLs presented here may no longer be valid.
Ruby: The object-oriented scripting language Ruby was created by Yukihiro Matsumoto. Ruby is available for UNIX, DOS, Windows 95/98/NT, Mac, BeOS, OS/2, and other platforms. The language itself can be downloaded from http://www.ruby-lang.org/en/index.html. The Ruby LDAP library is available at http://kt-www.jaist.ac.jp/~ttate/ruby/ruby-ldap.html.
TCL: The tool command language (TCL), with its graphical extension TK, has been available for a long time. The language was developed by John Ousterhout at the University of California, Berkeley. The latest iteration is version 8.4, and you can get it from http://www.tcl.tk. The LDAP library is available at http://www.sensus.org/.
Eiffel: The Eiffel language also allows you to access LDAP. The software can be obtained from the Free Software Foundation. The LDAP extension is available at http://bleu.west.spy.net/~dustin/eiffel/docs/ldap.html.
Python: The object-oriented Python is available for use on a wide variety of platforms from UNIX to Win32 to Macintosh. Developed by Guido van Rossum, it is available now as version 2.2.1 at http://www.python.org. The LDAP-client API for Python can be found at http://python-ldap.sourceforge.net/.
If you prefer to use a certain language and need the LDAP API for it, have a look at the home page of the language. If it does not have a home page, try using a search engine on the Internet.
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