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Chapter 42. LDAP > Understanding LDAP

Understanding LDAP

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) was conceived as a simplified interface to X.500 directories. Today, LDAP is an interface to all sorts of proprietary directory services, including Microsoft Exchange and Novell, and is a directory server protocol in its own right.

LDAP is a protocol that allows organizations to store and access directory-style information. For example, developers can build a central store of contact lists, user authentication, and security policies. This repository might form the basis of a single login for a myriad of different services, such as Novell's NDS, Lotus Notes, Windows Active Directory, and more. Because LDAP is an Internet standard, client programs and applications can be built to common specifications to hook into the directory's information repository. <cfldap> is the tag in ColdFusion that lets developers communicate with any LDAP interface.


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