In 1999 I began experimenting with the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and immediately became frustrated by lack of documentation. I set out to write the book that I needed, and I believe that I accomplished that goal. After teaching instructional courses on LDAP for the past few years, I have come to the belief that many people share the same frustration I felt at the beginning of my LDAP career. Managers and administrators alike can sometimes be dazzled (or disgusted) by the plethora of acronyms in the IT industry. The goal of this book is to cut through the glossy vendor brochures and give you the knowledge and tools necessary to deploy a working directory on your network complete with integrated client applications.
Directory services have been a part of networks in one way or another for a long time. LDAP directories have been growing roots in networks for as long as people have been proclaiming the current year to be the "year of LDAP." With increasing support from vendors in the form of clients and servers, LDAP has already become a staple for many networks. Because of this gradual but steady growth, people waiting for the LDAP big bang may be disappointed. You may wake up one morning and find that one of your colleagues has already deployed an LDAP-based directory service. If so, this book will help you understand how you can use the services that LDAP provides. If you are at the beginning of a project, this book will help you focus on the important points that are necessary to succeed.