System.DirectoryServices.Protocols Namespace Overview

The System.DirectoryServices.Protocols namespace provides programmatic access and management of directory services through Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) version 3.0 (V3) and Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) version 2.0 (V2) standards. System.DirectoryServices.Protocols provides the greatest level of control and highest performance for managed LDAP programming. An LDAP application written using the System.DirectoryServices.Protocols namespace can be ported to DSML with minimal changes.

LDAP is a directory service protocol that runs on a layer above the TCP/IP stack. It provides a mechanism used to connect to, search, and modify Internet directories. The LDAP directory service is based on a client-server model. The purpose of LDAP is to enable access to an existing directory.

DSML is a standard established by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS). DSML V2 provides a method for expressing directory queries and updates, and the results of these operations, as XML documents. DSML V2 is not a superset of DSML V1. System.DirectoryServices.Protocols does not support DSML V1.

In addition to this conceptual documentation, the Introduction to System.DirectoryServices.Protocols whitepaper on the MSDN Library explains concepts, practices, and guidelines for programming with the SDS.Protocols API.

Where Applicable

The System.DirectoryServices.Protocols namespace is used when the LDAP protocol or the DSML markup language methods are required for a managed code development project.

Developer Audience

The System.DirectoryServices.Protocols namespace is intended for use by application developers that are familiar with .NET Framework programming using Visual Basic .NET or C#. Familiarity with, or experience in, programming for directory services is also recommended.

Run-Time Requirements

System.DirectoryServices.Protocols is supported on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

See Also

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