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Overview of the LDAP C API

by Timothy A. Howes, Ph.D., and Mark C. Smith - May 30, 2000

Overview of the
LDAP C API

Synopsis and Objectives

 

The Core LDAP Functions

 

Typical Use of the LDAP Library

 

Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Use of the LDAP C API

 
Source  
Reference  
   

The Core LDAP Functions

One way to categorize the LDAP C API is by separating the functions that are used to initiate LDAP protocol operations and to receive results over the network from those that do other things. It may surprise you to learn that relatively few of the LDAP C API calls actually send or receive data over the network. Those functions that do include the following:

Function

Description

ldap_search()

Searches for directory entries

ldap_compare()

Sees if an entry contains a given attribute value

ldap_bind()

Authenticates (proves your identity) to a directory server

ldap_unbind()

Terminates an LDAP session

ldap_modify()

Makes changes to an existing directory entry

ldap_add()

Adds a new directory entry

ldap_delete()

Deletes an existing directory entry

ldap_modrdn()

Renames an existing directory entry

ldap_result()

Retrieves the result(s) of one of the previous operations

These functions map almost one to one onto the operations that are supported in LDAP itself and are therefore the heart of the LDAP C API. However, you will need to surround calls to these functions with a variety of other calls that are used to interpret errors, pull information out of the entries returned from a search, prepare lists of changes to be performed during a modify operation, and other essential tasks. It is safe to say, though, that nearly all source code that makes use of LDAP will call one or more of the previously mentioned functions.

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