What Can You Find in a Directory in Java

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But how can different applications share information about users How can applications keep track of user-speci c settings in a common location, regardless of which computer the user is using One possible solution is a directory that stores user information
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A directory is a service that allows you to search a structured repository of information Although that may sound like a database (a directory generally does contain or interact with a database internally), a directory is de ned by how users interact with it: through its protocol and its application program interface (API) Most directories offer a hierarchical rather than a relational view of the data Figure 1-1 gives one example of how information about a person is stored in a directory As this example shows, all attributes of a particular person are stored as a single object, and in this case all objects that represent people are grouped under a single location in the hierarchy The structure of the tree de nes the basic relationships between objects Attributes have standardized names, such as cn for common name and sn for surname Figure 1-2 shows how information about people typically is stored in a relational database In this example, user information is stored in one table, and organizational unit information in another A third table contains organizational information A column in the user table maps users to organizations To retrieve all information for a particular person, a query does a join on these tables
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o: Airiuscom
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ou: Groups
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ou: People
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cn: Accounting Managers uniqueMember: uid=scarter, ou=People, o=airiuscom uniqueMember: uid=tmorris, ou=People, o=airiuscom description: People who can manage accounting entries
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cn: Jim Daniels sn: Daniels givenName: Jim employeeNumber: 12345 uid: jdaniels mail: jdaniels@airiuscom telephoneNumber: +1 408 555 5625 roomNumber: 3472
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cn: Sam Carter sn: Carter givenName: Sam employeeNumber: 12346 uid: scarter mail: scarter@airiuscom telephoneNumber: +1 408 555 4798 roomNumber: 4612
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cn: Ted Morris sn: Morris givenName: Ted employeeNumber: 12347 uid: tmorris mail: tmorris@airiuscom telephoneNumber: +1 408 555 9187 roomNumber: 4117
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FIGURE 1-1 How data is organized in a directory
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User table
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ID EMP NR FULL NAME LAST FIRST uid PHONE E-MAIL ou
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1 2 3
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12345 12346 12347
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Jim Daniels Sam Carter Ted Morris
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jdaniels scarter tmorris
+1 408 555 5625 jdaniels@Airiuscom 1 +1 408 555 4798 scarter@Airiuscom +1 408 555 9187 tmorris@Airiuscom 1 1
Organizational Unit table
ID NAME ORGANIZATION
1 2 3
People Groups Accounting
1 1 2
Organization table
ID NAME
Airiuscom acmecom
FIGURE 1-2 How data is organized in a relational database
In addition, directories tend to be used in a context in which data is retrieved more frequently than it is updated In general, directories are not designed to store very large objects, but they are designed to store very large numbers of objects The following list identi es some of the main differences between a directory and a relational database: Directories are generally intended for environments in which one or more clients are doing many times more read or search operations than write operations As a consequence, relational databases tend to perform better than directories when data is being updated more frequently Directories usually do not support the advanced relational queries (with table joins) of a relational database For example, a directory can ef ciently tell you all the employees of a company whose manager is Jim Johnson, and it can tell you all the managers who are located in Savannah, but it cannot easily tell you all the employees whose managers are located in Savannah
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Directories do not support transactional integrity across multiple operations There is no way to ensure that several operations either all succeed or all fail On the other hand, directories have better and more exible support for substring searches and for searches for approximate matches Whereas directories ship with precon gured schemas (which are often standardized among vendors) that are suf cient or require few enhancements to support applications, relational databases generally require schemas to be de ned before anything else can be done The schema de nes which attributes may be used in the directory and which attributes are required or allowed in a particular entry Directories tend to be more often and widely replicated (for performance and for redundancy) than relational databases Directory protocols (such as Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, or LDAP) are better suited for wide-area network use, such as on the Internet or on large corporate networks Directories are usually much simpler to con gure, tune, and manage than industrial-quality relational databases, and they are much less expensive Both the cost of acquisition and the cost of ownership are therefore considerably lower