The String Representation of LDAP Search Filters (RFC2254)
Original Publication Date: 1997-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)  defines a network representation of a search filter transmitted to an LDAP server. Some applications may find it useful to have a common way of representing these search filters in a human-readable form. This document defines a human-readable string format for representing LDAP search filters.
Network Working Group T. Howes
Request for Comments: 2254 Netscape Communications Corp.
Category: Standards Track December 1997
The String Representation of LDAP Search Filters
1. Status of this Memo
This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1997). All Rights Reserved.
This document describes a directory access protocol that provides
both read and update access. Update access requires secure
authentication, but this document does not mandate implementation of
any satisfactory authentication mechanisms.
In accordance with RFC 2026, section 4.4.1, this specification is
being approved by IESG as a Proposed Standard despite this
limitation, for the following reasons:
a. to encourage implementation and interoperability testing of
these protocols (with or without update access) before they
are deployed, and
b. to encourage deployment and use of these protocols in read-only
applications. (e.g. applications where LDAPv3 is used as
a query language for directories which are updated by some
secure mechanism other than LDAP), and
c. to avoid delaying the advancement and deployment of other Internet
standards-track protocols which require the ability to query, but
not update, LDAPv3 directory servers.
Readers are hereby warned that until mandatory authentication
mechanisms are standardized, clients and servers written according to
this specification which make use of update functionality are
UNLIKELY TO INTEROPERATE, or MAY INTEROPERATE ONLY IF AUTHENTICATION
IS REDUCED TO AN UNACCEPTABLY WEAK LEVEL.
Implementors are hereby discouraged from deploying LDAPv3 clients or
servers which implement the update functionality, until a Proposed
Standard for mandatory authentication in LDAPv3 has been approved and
published as an RFC.
The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)  defines a
network representation of a search filter transmitted to an LDAP
server. Some applications may find it useful to have a common way of
representing these search filters in a human-readable form. This
document defines a human-readable string format for representing LDAP
This document replaces RFC 1960, extending the string LDAP filter
definition to include support for LDAP version 3 extended match
filters, and including support for representing the full range of
possible LDAP search filters.
3. LDAP Search Filter Definition
An LDAPv3 search filter is defined in Section 4.5.1 of  as