RFC 1823 (rfc1823) - Page 2 of 22


The LDAP Application Program Interface



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RFC 1823                        LDAP API                     August 1995


   person Babs Jensen might be named with the "Barbara Jensen" value
   from the commonName attribute. A globally unique name for an entry,
   called a distinguished name or DN, is constructed by concatenating
   the sequence of RDNs from the root of the tree down to the entry. For
   example, if Babs worked for the University of Michigan, the DN of her
   U-M entry might be "cn=Barbara Jensen, o=University of Michigan,
   c=US". The DN format used by LDAP is defined in [4].

   Operations are provided to authenticate, search for and retrieve
   information, modify information, and add and delete entries from the
   tree.  The next sections give an overview of how the API is used and
   detailed descriptions of the LDAP API calls that implement all of
   these functions.

3.  Overview of LDAP API Use

   An application generally uses the LDAP API in four simple steps.

   o    Open a connection to an LDAP server. The ldap_open() call
        returns a handle to the connection, allowing multiple
        connections to be open at once.

   o    Authenticate to the LDAP server and/or the X.500 DSA. The
        ldap_bind() call and friends support a variety of
        authentication methods.

   o    Perform some LDAP operations and obtain some results.
        ldap_search() and friends return results which can be parsed
        by ldap_result2error(), ldap_first_entry(), ldap_next_entry(),
        etc.

   o    Close the connection. The ldap_unbind() call closes the
        connection.

   Operations can be performed either synchronously or asynchronously.
   Synchronous calls end in _s. For example, a synchronous search can be
   completed by calling ldap_search_s(). An asynchronous search can be
   initiated by calling ldap_search(). All synchronous routines return
   an indication of the outcome of the operation (e.g, the constant
   LDAP_SUCCESS or some other error code).  The asynchronous routines
   return the message id of the operation initiated. This id can be used
   in subsequent calls to ldap_result() to obtain the result(s) of the
   operation.  An asynchronous operation can be abandoned by calling
   ldap_abandon().







Howes & Smith                Informational


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