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Lightweight Directory Access Protocol


The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (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 function of LDAP is to enable access to an existing directory.

The data model (data and namespace) of LDAP is similar to that of the X.500 OSI directory service, but with lower resource requirements. The associated LDAP API simplifies writing Internet directory service applications.

Where applicable

The LDAP API is applicable to directory management and browser applications that do not have directory service support as their primary function. Conversely, LDAP is neither applicable to creating directories, nor specifying how a directory service operates.

Developer audience

The LDAP API documentation in the Platform Software Development Kit (SDK) is intended for experienced C and C++ programmers and Internet directory developers.

LDAP supports the C and C++ programming languages.

A familiarity with directory services and the LDAP Client/Server Model are necessary for the development with the LDAP API.

Run-time requirements

Client applications that use the LDAP API, run on Windows Vista. All platforms must have TCP/IP installed.

Active Directory servers that support client applications using the LDAP API include Windows Server.

In this section

About LDAP

General information about the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol API.

Using LDAP

Programmer's guide to using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol API.

LDAP Reference

Reference information for LDAP.

Related topics

Programming Guide for Active Directory Domain Services
Programming Guide for Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services
Programming Guide for Active Directory Service Interfaces
Programming Guide for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
System.DirectoryServices Namespace Overview
System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory Namespace Overview
System.DirectoryServices.Protocols Namespace Overview
Programming Guide for Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) Services for Windows
Directory Services Data Exchange (DSDE) command line utility