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If you want to learn more about LDAP, you can buy a book or search the Internet. Before writing this volume, I searched in bookstores and online using Amazon for a book explaining LDAP without being product specific. However, the ones I found were all product specific. If you search the Internet for information about LDAP, you will find a lot of general documentation, but you will get too much information. It would take a lot of time to put all of this very useful information together. In the end, I concluded that no one had yet written a book offering a comprehensive view of LDAP. This volume combines all of the relevant information available on the Internet along with a number of arguments treated in the various books that are available.
This volume is intended for readers who want to start using LDAP. It provides a theoretical background so that the reader has a general understanding of how LDAP servers work. It avoids speaking about one particular implementation.
This book provides many examples of LDAP code. Most of these examples will work with any LDAP server implementing the LDAP standard. It is impossible to discuss the installation of an LDAP server without using a concrete implementation. For this purpose, I chose a commercial product (SUN/Netscape server) and an open-source project (OpenLDAP server). Both are available for a number of operating systems. Furthermore, the Sun/Netscape server is available for evaluation purposes for free, so if you want to try it out, you can download it.
Now that I have said what this book is, I will also mention what it is not. It is not an in-depth treatise on the nuts and bolts of LDAP, so the level of detail is not sufficient to enable you to write your own directory server. If you want to do so, please have a look at the Web site where you can also download OpenLDAP, i.e., http://www.openldap.org. This book also cannot serve as a substitute for the documentation that is normally shipped with servers, such as users guide, administrators guide, and so on. If you use a particular LDAP server, please read the documentation shipped with the product.
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