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LDAP Full Form

What Is The Full Form Of LDAP?

The full form of LDAP is Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

LDAP is a vendor-neutral, open, industry-standard application protocol that accesses and manages the distributed directory information services over an IP (Internet Protocol) Network. It also provides a means for managing users and the group membership stored in the Active Directory. Tim Howes, Wengyik, and Yeong Steve Kille developed LDAP in 1993. It was originally a network protocol that got data out of an X.500 directory. These are a series of computer networking standards that cover electronic directory services.

One of the uses of LDAP is providing a central place for storing passwords and usernames. It allows many different services and applications for connecting to the LDAP server for validating users.

History of LDAP

  • Telecom companies understood the directory requirements after about 70 years of managing and producing the phone directories. They introduced the concept of directory services in computer networking and IT.
  • They culminated their input in the X.500 specification produced by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) in the 1980s.
  • The X.500 DAP (Directory Access Protocol) traditionally accessed the X.500 directory services with the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) protocol stack.
  • LDAP was originally a lightweight protocol that accessed X.500 directory services through the TCP/IP protocol stack.
  • In the early stages, LDAP was known as LDBP (Lightweight Directory Browsing Protocol).
  • LDAP continued to influence subsequent IP, and it is also utilized as the basis for Active Directory from Microsoft.

Characteristics of LDAP

  • Supports TLS – Since the LDAP supports TLS (Transport Layer Security), it helps a user protect sensitive data and information.
  • Popular – It has a well-defined client API. As a result, the total number of LDAP-enabled applications keeps increasing.
  • Flexibility – The LDAP protocol supports various databases for storing directories. It allows the users to choose their database in accordance with the type of information that the server would circulate.
  • Open Source – It is an open-source implementation protocol. It means that anybody can download it freely.

Advantages of LDAP

  • The protocol is lightweight as compared to the other modern protocols.
  • LDAP has an implementation in the open-source. It makes LDAP easily and freely accessible.
  • Many services like DNS use it.
  • The industry support it has is broad and immense.
  • LDAP includes strong mechanisms of encoding and various constraints.
  • It uses various types of authentication through Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL)- which makes it highly secure.

Disadvantages of LDAP

  • It doesn’t support the many security features that the X.500 does.
  • LDAP can be quite complex for new users.

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