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[MS-ADSO]: Active Directory System Overview

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This document provides an overview of the Active Directory System Overview Protocol Family. It is intended for use in conjunction with the Microsoft Protocol Technical Documents, publicly available standard specifications, network programming art, and Microsoft Windows distributed systems concepts. It assumes that the reader is either familiar with the aforementioned material or has immediate access to it.

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Abstract

The Active Directory System provides the foundation for authentication services in a domain environment. Additionally, it is used as a component by other systems such as Group Policy and Print Services. Active Directory is a directory service that provides for the centralized storage of identity and account information, as well as storage for other forms of data such as group policies and printer location information. A directory service contains one or more servers, known as directory servers, in which directory objects can be created, queried for, modified, and deleted. Each directory object is a collection of attributes, each of which contains one or more values. One common directory object is the user object, which represents an account and stores information such as the user name and password.

This document describes the relationships of the system of protocols that make up the client-server behavior of the Active Directory System. It describes the intended client-server functionality of the Active Directory System and how the protocols in this system interact. In the context of the Active Directory System, "clients" can include both Microsoft Windows client and server operating systems, other Microsoft software, and third-party software and operating systems. This document does not describe server-to-server functionality, such as replication protocols. Nor does it describe the impact on clients of being "joined" to a domain or of domain-related interactions between the member computers and the AD DS domain controller, such as Kerberos support or certificate autoenrollment. These topics are discussed in separate documents.

This document does not restate the processing rules and other details that are specific to each protocol in the system. These details are described in the protocol specifications for each of the protocols and data structures that make up the Active Directory System.

Date Revision History Revision Class Comments

07/02/2009

0.1

Major

First Release.

08/14/2009

1.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

09/25/2009

2.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

11/06/2009

3.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

12/18/2009

3.0.1

Editorial

Revised and edited the technical content.

01/29/2010

4.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

03/12/2010

5.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

04/23/2010

6.0

Major

Updated and revised the technical content.

06/04/2010

6.0.1

Editorial

Revised and edited the technical content.

07/16/2010

7.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

08/27/2010

8.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

10/08/2010

9.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

11/19/2010

10.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

01/07/2011

11.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

02/11/2011

12.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

03/25/2011

13.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

05/06/2011

14.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

06/17/2011

14.1

Minor

Clarified the meaning of the technical content.

09/23/2011

14.1

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

12/16/2011

14.1

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

03/30/2012

14.1

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

07/12/2012

14.1

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

10/25/2012

14.2

Minor

Clarified the meaning of the technical content.

01/31/2013

14.2

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

08/08/2013

15.0

Major

Significantly changed the technical content.

11/14/2013

15.0

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

02/13/2014

15.0

No change

No changes to the meaning, language, or formatting of the technical content.

 
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