This book is split into three parts:
Part I, Active Directory Basics
Chapter 1 reviews the evolution of the Microsoft NOS and some of the major features and benefits of Active Directory.
Chapter 2 provides a high-level look at how objects are stored in Active Directory and explains some of the internal structures and concepts that it relies on.
Chapter 3 reviews the predefined Naming Contexts within Active Directory, what is contained within each, and the purpose of Application Partitions.
Chapter 4 gives you information on how the blueprint for each object and each object's attributes are stored in Active Directory.
Chapter 5 details how the actual replication process for data takes place between domain controllers.
Chapter 6 describes the importance of the Domain Name System (DNS) and what it is used for within Active Directory.
Chapter 7 gives you a detailed introduction to the capabilities of both user profiles and Group Policy Objects.
Part II, Designing an Active Directory Infrastructure
Chapter 8 introduces the steps and techniques involved in properly preparing a design that reduces the number of domains and increases administrative control through the use of Organizational Units.
Chapter 9 shows you how to design a representation of your physical infrastructure within Active Directory to gain very fine-grained control over intrasite and intersite replication.
Chapter 10 explains how Group Policy Objects function in Active Directory and how you can properly design an Active Directory structure to make the most effective use of these functions.
Chapter 11 describes how you can design effective security for all areas of your Active Directory, in terms of both access to objects and their properties; it includes information on how to design effective security access logging in any areas you choose.
Chapter 12 covers procedures for extending the classes and attributes in the Active Directory schema.
Chapter 13 describes how you can back up and restore Active Directory down to the object level or the entire directory.
Chapter 14 outlines how you can upgrade your existing Active Directory infrastructure to Windows Server 2003.
Chapter 15 gives very basic guidelines on areas to think about when conducting a Windows NT 4.0 migration. This is only an introduction to the subject; readers looking for step-by-step guides or detailed studies of migration will need to look elsewhere.
Chapter 16 covers some of the important Active Directory-related issues when implementing Microsoft Exchange.
Chapter 17 looks into what methods exist now and will exist in the future for integrating Active Directory with other directories and data stores.
Part III, Scripting Active Directory with ADSI, ADO, and WMI
Chapter 18 introduces ADSI scripting by leading you through a series of step-by-step examples.
Chapter 19 delves into the concept of the property cache used extensively by ADSI and shows you how to properly manipulate any attribute of any object within it.
Chapter 20 demonstrates how to make use of a technology normally reserved for databases and now extended to allow rapid searching for objects in Active Directory.
Chapter 21 gives you the lowdown on how to rapidly create users and groups, giving them whatever attributes you desire.
Chapter 22 explains how other persistent objects such as services, shares, and printers may be manipulated; it also looks at dynamic objects, such as print jobs, user sessions, and resources.
Chapter 23 describes how each object contains its own list of permissions and auditing entries that governs how it can be accessed and how access is logged. The chapter then details how you can create and manipulate permission and auditing entries as you choose.
Chapter 24 covers creation of new classes and attributes programmatically in the schema, and modification of the existing Active Directory snap-ins to perform additional customized functions.
Chapter 25 goes into how you can extend the scripts that have been written by incorporating them into web pages or even converting them to simple VB programs.
Chapter 26 gives a quick overview of WMI and goes through several examples for managing a system, including services, the registry, and the event log. Accessing AD with WMI is also covered, along with the new TrustMon and Replication WMI Providers.
Chapter 27 describes how to manipulate DNS server configuration, zones, and resource records with the WMI DNS Provider.
Chapter 28 starts off by providing some background information on the .NET Framework and then dives into several examples using the System.DirectoryServices namespace with VB.NET.