Integrating applications into Active Directory is not an easy task. There are several potential pitfalls not only for Active Directory administrators but for application developers as well. Active Directory Application Mode (AD/AM), which is a lightweight version of Active Directory, should help relieve some of the burden from Active Directory as an application directory. Integrating Unix with Active Directory also has its challenges, but it is possible.
While integrating applications can be a challenge, getting competing directory services to interoperate is downright difficult. Even though most directory servers are based on standards-based RFCs, such as LDAP, there are no standards that define how they can replicate or authorize seamlessly with each other. The two best options for integrating multiple directories is either through a metadirectory, such as MMS, or a programming interface, such as ADSI or LDAP.
This concludes Part II. In Part III, we will cover many of the programmatic concepts and interfaces that can be used to automate and manage your Active Directory environment.