- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (March 22, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1578700000
- ISBN-13: 978-1578700004
- Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,316,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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LDAP: Programming Directory-Enabled Apps 1st Edition
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Tim Howes's LDAP: Programming Directory-Enabled Applications with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is a very useful and (given the technical subject matter) surprisingly readable guide to the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), the preferred protocol for providing directory services on today's Internet. The book provides a solid introduction to what LDAP is, including its history and architecture, and then proceeds to cover LDAP API programming via C and C++ in clear, discrete examples that range from simple searching to filtering, reading, and updating LDAP directories. More advanced topics include asynchronous LDAP programming with threads, as well as building a command-line LDAP search utility. For programmers, this text is useful because of its overall clarity, although it also covers some of the specifics of developing in LDAP on Windows 95/NT, Macintosh, and UNIX. Non-programmers will also find the chapters on using command-line versions of LDAP (available in Netscape's implementation) to be very useful. The authors even provide examples of programming LDAP utilities through scripting in Perl, as LDAP applications can be prototyped using scripting languages first, then coded in the actual API using C/C++. On the whole, this is an exceptionally clear book that covers this valuable protocol extremely well.
From the Back Cover
Two years ago, the Internet Engineering Task Force began studying directory protocols, searching for a solution to outdated protocols. That search prompted the creation of LDAP, the new protocol for inter-network directory services. Since that time, Microsoft, Netscape, IBM, Novell and other companies have adopted LDAP as a complete directory services solution. This is the essential resource for programmers, software engineers, and network administrators who need to understand and implement LDAP to keep software applications compliant. If you design or program software for network computing or are interested in directory services, LDAP: Programming Directory-Enabled Applications with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is an essential resource to help you understand the LDAP API; learn how to write LDAP programs; understand how to LDAP-enable an existing application; and learn how to use a set of command-line LDAP tools to search and update directory information.
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Nevertheless, I plunged forward and made the purchase in the hopes that the authors (co-authors of the LDAP spec) would be another Kernighan and Ritchie-type duo.
Very little background (and I consider it to be essential) is presented on LDAP. Instead, the authors plunge immediately into code examples. Futhermore, the URLs shown in the code don't work (granted the book was published in 1997). In short terms, there's not much here that can't be gleaned from the man pages or looking at the OpenLDAP source code.
The saving grace of the book reside in the appendices and in chapter 17, "Using the Copmmand Line LDAP Tools". These pages alone (and they constitute a good chunk of the book's volume) are sufficient to make my investment in this volume not wasted. It is hoped that the authors update this title. As recognized authorities on LDAP, they have the means to produce *the* canonical volume on ths subject.
I had a hard time getting the referenced LDAP distribution running, and once I did I found other resources to be of more service. It helped me get a base prototype running, but if I had to develop an LDAP system for production use, I'd probably just buy a package rather than build one myself (and using this book for reference.) My time is more valuable that this.
Its too bad they can't just roll the first three chapters into a far cheaper book. In the end that was the most valuable part, and you could have easily published that content on the web.
Get a used version, or borrow a friend's.
Both the University of Michigan and Netscape libraries are covered, and the advantages/disadvantages of each. This book also breifly explains command line utilities, such as ldapsearch, that are useful for testing and debugging applications.
The book contains a useful reference of the core LDAP APIs that I keep handy when I am programming.
Another section I found useful pertains to LDAP and threading in applications. The threading section covers information that is very important when developing server applications using LDAP.
Don't get me wrong-- the documentation is useful, but the examples are all extremely simplistic, and many of them won't even compile or run if you type them in verbatim.
If you need to write LDAP-enabled softare, this is about your only choice. For simple applications, this will probably teach you everything you need. If you want to write a server, or a real LDAP DUA or ADUA, this book will get you started, but no more.
But my major gripe is that the text and code examples mostly are just plain wrong, at least in a Unix environment, though they claim Unix compatibility. The very first example wouldn't even *compile*, much less work. It's not just bad programming, because many LDAP API-specific details in the book don't work as stated, or don't work at all. I found myself going back to the University of Michigan LDAP docs and sample code (also written by the authors, but much better) to figure things out.
On the other hand, there aren't any other books on LDAP programming, so I guess we're stuck.