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The .NET Developer's Guide to Directory Services Programming 1st Edition

21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 078-5342350173
ISBN-10: 0321350170
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“If you have any interest in writing .NET programs using Active Directory or ADAM, this is the book you want to read.”
—Joe Richards, Microsoft MVP, directory services

Identity and Access Management are rapidly gaining importance as key areas of practice in the IT industry, and directory services provide the fundamental building blocks that enable them. For enterprise developers struggling to build directory-enabled .NET applications,The .NET Developer’s Guide to Directory Services Programmingwill come as a welcome aid.

Microsoft MVPs Joe Kaplan and Ryan Dunn have written a practical introduction to programming directory services, using both versions 1.1 and 2.0 of the .NET Framework. The extensive examples in the book are in C#; a companion Web site includes both C# and Visual Basic source code and examples.

Readers will

  • Learn to create, rename, update, and delete objects in Active Directory and ADAM
  • Learn to bind to and search directories effectively and efficiently
  • Learn to read and write attributes of all types in the directory
  • Learn to use directory services within ASP.NET applications
  • Get concrete examples of common programming tasks such as managing Active Directory and ADAM users and groups, and performing authentication

Experienced .NET developers—those building enterprise applications or simply interested in learning about directory services—will find thatThe .NET Developer’s Guide to Directory Services Programmingunravels the complexities and helps them to avoid the common pitfalls that developers face.

About the Author

Joe Kaplan works in Accenture’s internal IT organization, building enterprise applications using the .NET Framework. He specializes in directory services programming, for which he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP. An industry veteran of more than thirteen years, he also thrives on working with the development community and solving real-world problems.

Ryan Dunn of Avanade is a .NET developer and architect with experience in a wide range of industries and technologies. He has consulted on a number of projects to integrate clients’ applications with Active Directory and ADAM. Ryan is a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET, though he currently focuses primarily on directory services. Ryan can be reached on the Web in the ASP.NET forums or through his blog at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (May 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321350170
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321350176
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael on June 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is for all of you who need to write Active Directory based programs for .NET and ASP.NET.

The voice of bitter experience: As anyone who has tried to learn how to program against Active Directory or ADAM knows, the on-line information at MSDN is extraordinarily confusing, not least because Microsoft has introduced several different technologies to access Active Directory--Native LDAP, System.DirectoryServices, System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory, System.DirectoryServices.Protocols, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), ADSI, and the Net* and Ds* APIs. MSDN's sample code, once you get beyond the basics, is mostly written in C++ and/or VB script. Trust me, you don't want to go there without a knowledgeable mentor at your side. This book can be your guide.

Both of the authors have a welcome presence on Active Directory forums and in the blogosphere. They are well-known as the go-to guys for Active Directory questions. The book reflects their practical experience responding to programmers' reasonable but difficult questions, such as "What's the best way to determine a user's effective group memberships, taking group nesting into account". I couldn't find this answer on MSDN.

The book's first two chapters sort out the confusion about the many layers of Active directory programming in lucid, well-organized prose.

Then, chapter-by-chapter, the book explains how to do just about anything a sane .NET programmer would want to do: CRUD operations, searching, schema, user and group management, authentication, and COM interop. Each sub-topic is succinct, explains advantages and disadvantages of various techniques, and contains code snippets that are valuable and easy to drop into your own code.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Raar on June 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
The .NET Developer's Guide to Directory Services Programming provides valuable insight in how to properly write .NET applications that use Active Directory or ADAM. It covers pretty much everything you need to know, to be effective in programming against a Directory Service using both .NET 1.1 and .NET 2.0.

The book is very well written and provides sample code around any topic that it touches upon (download here: [...] ). Both the samples from the book (raw format) and a complete .NET Solution are provided that a developer can leverage to develop their own applications. The site also provides an active forum where you can post questions and problems around the topic. The level of support Ryan and Joe provide is remarkable. In fact, for most searches on Active Directory problems on google, you would find that in many cases, one of the authors is involved in the thread working towards a solution.

The book starts out with a general explanation of LDAP and Active Directory. This is a high level overview of the concepts and terminology around Directory Services, LDAP, Domains etc. It also explains what different approaches to interacting with Directories are available to the programmer. Once the concepts have been explained, the book continues with CRUD operations. As you read this chapter, you will find the true value of the book. Not only does it contain all the information you'll need to program against a Directory Service, but it also points out many of the common pitfalls that a developer runs into when writing an application. The book also goes beyond what the .NET Framework provides to reveal what is actually happening under the hood, when this is appropriate. By doing that, the authors shed some light on why certain logic should be implemented in a particular way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James M. Stearns on November 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers have noted, programming directory services is a complicated niche. This book provided a light and compass to a developer passing through this territory containing some rather strange-looking flora and fauna.

My company's .NET-based application makes limited use of directory services. When migrating it to .NET 2.0, tens of warnings were generated when referencing the ActiveDs COM library, such as "could not convert the signature" and "At least one of the arguments for 'IPrivateDispatch.ADSIGetIDsOfNames' can not be marshaled". While the warnings did not affect application behavior, ignoring warnings encourages a mindset that could cause a developer to disregard real danger.

This book provided two different ideas to fix the warnings. Both avoided the need to reference the entire ActiveDs.dll library. One idea was to use the enhanced .NET 2.0 classes directly to determine a user's group memberships (my particular need, addressed in Chapter 10). The other was to declare COM Interops for the subset of ActiveDs functionality actually needed (Appendix A). I ended up using the second alternative. The authors provided an example and a reference to a free third-party tool that generated the needed declarations.

Other applications will use directory services more extensively, so their voyage may be more intricate. This book is a guidebook that will help you understand your choices before you set out. I commend the authors for their knowledge of this arcane area and their enthusiasm and ability to understandably share their knowledge.
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