Two widely distributed Perl modules make it easy to write scripts that interact with an LDAP directory. One of these is the PerLDAP module, written by Leif Hedstrom from Netscape Communications (http://www.mozilla.org/directory/perldap.html). However, the last version was released in October of 2000.
A more active project, and the module that I discuss in this chapter, is Graham Barr's perl-ldap module (often referred to as Net::LDAP). The examples in this chapter are based on Version 0.26 of this module. The module's home is located at http://perl-ldap.sourceforge.net/, but it's simpler to get it through the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) at http://search.cpan.org. Before you install Net::LDAP, make sure that the following modules are present:
If you want to parse ldap:// URIs
For Base64 encoding
For LDAPS and StartTLS support
To read and write DSML files
For SASL authentication support
All of these modules (and any of their requisite modules) can be downloaded from CPAN mirrors. As a convenience, several of these modules have been packaged into a single module named Bundle::Net::LDAP, which can also be download from CPAN.
Programming with the Net::LDAP module is not tricky. You can discover a lot about it by typing the command perldoc Net::LDAP at a shell prompt; additional documentation can be found under Net::LDAP::Examples and Net::LDAP::FAQ.