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X.500 Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (RFC1487) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002314D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-10
Document File: 21 page(s) / 25K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

W. Yeong: AUTHOR [+2]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1487: DOI


The protocol described in this document is designed to provide access to the Directory while not incurring the resource requirements of the Directory Access Protocol (DAP). [STANDARDS-TRACK]

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

Network Working Group W. Yeong Request for Comments: 1487 Performance Systems International T. Howes University of Michigan S. Kille ISODE Consortium July 1993

X.500 Lightweight Directory Access Protocol

Status of this Memo

This RFC specifies an IAB standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for improvements. Please refer to the current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol Standards" for the standardization state and status of this protocol. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


The protocol described in this document is designed to provide access to the Directory while not incurring the resource requirements of the Directory Access Protocol (DAP). This protocol is specifically targeted at simple management applications and browser applications that provide simple read/write interactive access to the Directory, and is intended to be a complement to the DAP itself.

Key aspects of LDAP are:

- Protocol elements are carried directly over TCP or other transport, bypassing much of the session/presentation overhead.

- Many protocol data elements are encoding as ordinary strings (e.g., Distinguished Names).

- A lightweight BER encoding is used to encode all protocol elements.

1. History

The tremendous interest in X.500 [1,2] technology in the Internet has lead to efforts to reduce the high "cost of entry" associated with use of the technology, such as the Directory Assistance Service [3] and DIXIE [4]. While efforts such as these have met with success, they have been solutions based on particular implementations and as such have limited applicability. This document continues the efforts to define Directory protocol alternatives but departs from previous efforts in that it consciously avoids dependence on particular

Yeong, Howes & Kille [Page 1]

RFC 1487 X.500 LDAP July 1993


2. Protocol Model

The general model adopted by this protocol is one of clients performing protocol operations against servers. In this model, this is accomplished by a client transmitting a protocol request describing the operation to be performed to a server, which is then responsible for performing the necessary operations on the Directory. Upon completion of the necessary operations, the server returns a response containing any results or errors to the requesting client. In keeping with the goal of easing the costs associated with use of the Directory, it is an objective of this protocol to minimize the complexity of clients so as to facilitate widespread deployment of applications capable of utilizing the Directory.

Note that, although servers are required to return responses whenever such responses are defined in the protocol, there is no requirement for synchronous behavior on the part of either client or server implementations: requests and responses for multiple operations may be exchanged by client and servers in any order, as long as clients eventually receive a response for every request that...