Working with Directory Services in VB.NET: Part 1

In this article I will explain you about Working with Directory Services in VB.NET.
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Microsoft has provided the Active Directory Service Interface (ADSI), an API for directory services, for many years. ADSI allows us to access the directory services of various network providers in a distributed computing environment, and it presents a single set of directory service interfaces for managing network resources. We can list and manage the resources in a directory service via the ADSI service, but we do not need to know where the actual resource is located. We can use ADSI to perform common administrative tasks such as searching resources like computers, users, printers, shares, and groups on an enterprise computer network.
When you install a Windows 2000 domain controller and are creating a new forest and domain, you install the Active Directory (and optionally an Active Directory-integrated DNS if one does not exist), in which all resource information is stored. The Windows 2000 Active Directory allows you to store information about all kinds of resources such as computers, groups, printers, shares, users, and so on. If you want to surf through an Active Directory, you would use the basic program named LDP.EXE from theWindows2000 support tools, in the Windows 2000 CD's support directory. Active Directory is a database that has a storage structure similar to that of the Registry-namely, hierarchical rather than relational. This statement is also valid for other LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol ) servers and stores. You can also think of it as an XML Document Object Model tree. Every object inside Active Directory is created based on a schema object type, has an LDAP path relative to the root, and has particular attributes such as name and global unique identifier (GUID). The created objects of valid schema types reside as nodes in the Active Directory tree.
Figure 21.2 shows a simple model of an Active Directory tree and node. (Note that the same logic applies to all LDAP servers such as Microsoft Internet Information Server.)

The DirectoryEntry class presents a node or object in the Active Directory hierarchy. The Add method creates a request to create a new entry in the container. The Find method returns the child with the specified name. The Remove method deletes a child DirectoryEntry from this collection. Table 21.11 describes the members of the DirectoryEntry class.
Table 21.11: DirectoryEntry Class Members


The DirectorySearcher class performs queries against the Active Directory. But of the systemsupplied ADSI providers like LDAP, Internet Information Services (IIS), and Novell NetWare Directory Service (NDS), only LDAP supports searching. The Filter property of the DirectorySearcher class gets or sets the LDAP filter string format. The FindAll method in the DirectorySearcher class executes the search and returns a collection of entries found. Table 21.12 describes the members of the DirectorySearcher class.
Table 21.12: DirectorySearcher Class Members

table 21.12.gif

Hope this article would have helped you in understanding Working with Directory Services in VB.NET. Remaining part of this article you will see in my next article.


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