About Active Directory Service Interfaces
Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) abstracts the capabilities of directory services from different network providers in a distributed computing environment to present a single set of directory service interfaces for managing network resources. Administrators and developers can use ADSI services to enumerate and manage the resources in a directory service, no matter which network environment contains the resource.
ADSI makes it easier to perform common administrative tasks, such as adding new users, managing printers, and locating resources throughout the distributed computing environment.
ADSI makes it easy for developers to "directory enable" their applications. Administrators and developers handle a single set of directory service interfaces, regardless of which directory services are installed.
The following topics are discussed in this introduction:
- Multiple Directory Services
- Who Will Use Active Directory Service Interfaces?
- Directory Services Today
- Benefits of Using Active Directory Service Interfaces
- Active Directory Service Interfaces Architecture
- Programming Language Support
- ADSI Properties and Attributes
This guide assumes that you are familiar with the Component Object Model (COM) and Automation, and that you know how to program in either Visual Basic or C/C++.
Some of the terms used in this guide are unique to either ADSI or the directory services environment. Other terms will be familiar but may have slightly different meanings in these environments.
The following operating systems include ADSI:
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows 2000 Server
- Windows 2000 Professional
To use ADSI on Windows Me, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 95, it is necessary to install the Active Directory Client Extension, commonly referred to as the DSClient. There are two versions of the DSClient, one for Windows NT 4.0 and the other for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me.
The DSClient for Windows Me, Windows 98, and Windows 95 is available on Windows 2000 Server CD-ROMs.
For more information about the DSClient, see "How to install the Active Directory client extension" in the Help and Support Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;288358. (This resource may not be available in some languages and countries/regions.)
The ADSI providers that are available by default will depend on how ADSI has been obtained. The following table lists the different ADSI delivery vehicles and the providers that each supports.
|Windows Server 2003||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows 2000 Server||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Windows 2000 Professional||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|DSClient for Windows NT 4.0||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|DSClient for Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me||Yes||Yes||No||No|
For more information about Active Directory Service Interfaces and the technologies on which they are based, you may find the following sources helpful.
Brockschmidt, Kraig. Inside OLE, 2nd edition. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1995.
Chappell, David. Understanding ActiveX and OLE. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1996.
Hahn, Steven. ADSI ASP Programmer's Reference. Wrox Press Ltd., 1998.
Harrison, Richard. ASP/MTS/ADSI Web Security. Prentice Hall, 1999.
Microsoft's OLE DB Programmer's Reference Version 1.0, 1996.
OLE 2 Programmer's Reference, Volume Two. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1994.
Rogerson, Dale. Inside COM. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1997.
The Active Directory Service Design Specification Version 2.0.
The Component Object Model Specification.
(These resources may not be available in some languages and countries/regions.)