Oracle Internet Directory Application Developer's Guide
Release 3.0.1

Part Number A90152-01
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access control item (ACI)

An attribute that determines who has what type of access to what directory data. It contains a set of rules for structural access items, which pertain to entries, and content access items, which pertain to attributes. Access to both structural and content access items may be granted to one or more users or groups.

access control list (ACL)

The group of access directives that you define. The directives grant levels of access to specific data for specific clients, or groups of clients, or both.

access control policy point

An entry that contains security directives that apply downward to all entries at lower positions in the directory information tree (DIT).


See access control item (ACI)


See access control list (ACL)


See access control policy point

administrative area

A subtree on a directory server whose entries are under the control (schema, ACL, and collective attributes) of a single administrative authority.

advanced symmetric replication (ASR)

See Oracle9i Replication


See directory integration agent

agent profile

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, an entry in Oracle Internet Directory that specifies:

anonymous authentication

The process by which the directory authenticates a user without requiring a user name and password combination. Each anonymous user then exercises the privileges specified for anonymous users.


See application program interface

application program interface

Programs to access the services of a specified application. For example, LDAP-enabled clients access directory information through programmatic calls available in the LDAP API.


See Oracle9i Replication


An item of information that describes some aspect of an entry. An entry comprises a set of attributes, each of which belongs to an object class. Moreover, each attribute has both a type, which describes the kind of information in the attribute, and a value, which contains the actual data.

attribute configuration file

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, a file that specifies attributes of interest in a connected directory.

attribute type

The kind of information an attribute contains, for example, jobTitle.

attribute value

The particular occurrence of information appearing in that entry. For example, the value for the jobTitle attribute could be manager.


The process of verifying the identity of a user, device, or other entity in a computer system, often as a prerequisite to allowing access to resources in a system.


Permission given to a user, program, or process to access an object or set of objects.


The process of authenticating to a directory.

central directory

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the directory that acts as the central repository. In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, Oracle Internet Directory is the central directory.


An ITU x.509 v3 standard data structure that securely binds an identity to a public key. A certificate is created when an entity's public key is signed by a trusted identity: a certificate authority (CA). This certificate ensures that the entity's information is correct and that the public key actually belongs to that entity.

certificate authority (CA)

A trusted third party that certifies that other entities--users, databases, administrators, clients, servers--are who they say they are. The certificate authority verifies the user's identity and grants a certificate, signing it with the certificate authority's private key.

certificate chain

An ordered list of certificates containing an end-user or subscriber certificate and its certificate authority certificates.

change logs

A database that records changes made to a directory server.

cipher suite

In SSL, a set of authentication, encryption, and data integrity algorithms used for exchanging messages between network nodes. During an SSL handshake, the two nodes negotiate to see which cipher suite they will use when transmitting messages back and forth.

cold backup

The procedure to add a new DSA node to an existing replicating system by using the database copy procedure.


The ability to handle multiple requests simultaneously. Threads and processes are examples of concurrency mechanisms.

concurrent clients

The total number of clients that have established a session with Oracle Internet Directory.

concurrent operations

The number of operations that are being executed on the directory from all of the concurrent clients. Note that this is not necessarily the same as the concurrent clients, because some of the clients may be keeping their sessions idle.


See configuration set entry

configuration set entry

A directory entry holding the configuration parameters for a specific instance of the directory server. Multiple configuration set entries can be stored and referenced at run-time. The configuration set entries are maintained in the subtree specified by the subConfigsubEntry attribute of the DSE, which itself resides in the associated directory information base (DIB) against which the servers are started.

connect descriptor

A specially formatted description of the destination for a network connection. A connect descriptor contains destination service and network route information.

The destination service is indicated by using its service name for Oracle9i release release 9.0.1 database or its Oracle System Identifier (SID) for Oracle release 8.0 or version 7 databases. The network route provides, at a minimum, the location of the listener through use of a network address.

connected directory

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, any directory or repository other than the central directory. In such an environment, Oracle Internet Directory serves as the central directory, and all other directories are connected directories. Synchronization always happens between Oracle Internet Directory and a connected directory.


A directory server that is the destination of replication updates. Sometimes called a slave.


Competition for resources.

context prefix

The DN of the root of a naming context.


The practice of encoding and decoding data, resulting in secure messages.

data integrity

The guarantee that the contents of the message received were not altered from the contents of the original message sent.


The process of converting the contents of an encrypted message (ciphertext) back into its original readable format (plaintext).

default knowledge reference

A knowledge reference that is returned when the base object is not in the directory, and the operation is performed in a naming context not held locally by the server. A default knowledge reference typically sends the user to a server that has more knowledge about the directory partitioning arrangement.


Data Encryption Standard, a block cipher developed by IBM and the U.S. government in the 1970's as an official standard.


See directory information base (DIB).

directory information base (DIB)

The complete set of all information held in the directory. The DIB consists of entries that are related to each other hierarchically in a directory information tree (DIT).

directory information tree (DIT)

A hierarchical tree-like structure consisting of the DNs of the entries.

directory integration agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, a program that interacts with a connected directory to synchronize changes between the connected directory and Oracle Internet Directory.

directory integration profile

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, an entry in Oracle Internet Directory that contains configuration information required for synchronization.

directory integration server

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the server that drives the synchronization of data between Oracle Internet Directory and a connected directory

directory naming context

See naming context.

directory replication group (DRG)

The directory servers participating in a replication agreement.

directory server instance

A discrete invocation of a directory server. Different invocations of a directory server, each started with the same or different configuration set entries and startup flags, are said to be different directory server instances.

directory-specific entry (DSE)

An entry specific to a directory system agent (DSA). Different DSAs may hold the same DIT name, but have different contents--that is, the contents can be specific to the DSA holding it. A DSE is an entry with contents specific to the DSA holding it.

directory system agent (DSA)

The X.500 term for a directory server.

distinguished name (DN)

The unique name of a directory entry. It comprises all of the individual names of the parent entries back to the root.


See Oracle directory integration server (DIS)


See directory information tree (DIT)


See distinguished name (DN)


See directory replication group (DRG)


See directory system agent (DSA)


See directory-specific entry (DSE)


The process of disguising the contents of a message and rendering it unreadable (ciphertext) to anyone but the intended recipient.


The building block of a directory, it contains information about an object of interest to directory users.

export agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, an agent that exports data out of Oracle Internet Directory.

export data file

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the file that contains data exported by an export agent.

export file

See export data file.

external agent

A directory integration agent that is independent of the Oracle Directory Integration server. The Oracle directory integration server does not provide scheduling, mapping, or error handling services for it. An external agent is typically used when a third party metadirectory solution is integrated with the Oracle Directory Integration platform.


The process of failure recognition and recovery.


A method of qualifying data, usually data that you are seeking. Filters are always expressed as DNs, for example: cn=susie smith, o=acme, c=us.

global unique identifier (GUID)

In a multi-master replication environment, an entry replicated on multiple nodes has the same DN on each node. However, even though it has the same DN, it is assigned a different GUID on each node. For example, the same DN can be replicated on both node1 and node2, but the GUID for that DN as it resides on node1 would be different from the GUID for that DN on node2.

grace login

A login occurring within the specified period before password expiration.

guest user

One who is not an anonymous user, and, at the same time, does not have a specific user entry.


See global unique identifier (GUID).


A protocol two computers use to initiate a communication session.


A number generated from a string of text with an algorithm. The hash value is substantially smaller than the text itself. Hash numbers are used for security and for faster access to data.

import agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, an agent that imports data into Oracle Internet Directory.

import data file

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the file containing the data imported by an import agent.

import file

See import data file.


When an object class has been derived from another class, it also derives, or inherits, many of the characteristics of that other class. Similarly, an attribute subtype inherits the characteristics of its supertype.


See directory server instance.

integration agent

See agent.


The guarantee that the contents of the message received were not altered from the contents of the original message sent.

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

The principal body engaged in the development of new Internet standard specifications. It is an international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet.

Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)

A protocol allowing a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on a server. It permits manipulation of remote message folders, also called mailboxes, in a way that is functionally equivalent to local mailboxes.


A string of bits used widely in cryptography, allowing people to encrypt and decrypt data; a key can be used to perform other mathematical operations as well. Given a cipher, a key determines the mapping of the plaintext to the ciphertext.

key pair

A public key and its associated private key.

See public/private key pair.

knowledge reference

The access information (name and address) for a remote DSA and the name of the DIT subtree that the remote DSA holds. Knowledge references are also called referrals.


The time a client has to wait for a given directory operation to complete. Latency can be defined as wasted time. In networking discussions, latency is defined as the travel time of a packet from source to destination.


See Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).


See LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF).

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

A standard, extensible directory access protocol. It is a common language that LDAP clients and servers use to communicate. The framework of design conventions supporting industry-standard directory products, such as the Oracle Internet Directory.

LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF)

The set of standards for formatting an input file for any of the LDAP command-line utilities.


A security attack characterized by the third-party, surreptitious interception of a message. The third-party, the man-in-the-middle, decrypts the message, re-encrypts it (with or without alteration of the original message), and retransmits it to the originally-intended recipient--all without the knowledge of the legitimate sender and receiver. This type of security attack works only in the absence of authentication.

mapping rules file

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the file that specifies mappings between Oracle Internet Directory attributes and those in a connected directory.

master definition site (MDS)

In replication, a master definition site is the Oracle Internet Directory database from which the administrator runs the configuration scripts.

master site

In replication, a master site is any site other than the master definition site that participates in LDAP replication.

matching rule

In a search or compare operation, determines equality between the attribute value sought and the attribute value stored. For example, matching rules associated with the telephoneNumber attribute could cause "(650) 123-4567" to be matched with either "(650) 123-4567" or "6501234567" or both. When you create an attribute, you associate a matching rule with it.


A one-way hash function that produces a 128-bit hash, or message digest. If as little as a single bit value in the file is modified, the MD4 checksum for the file will change. Forgery of a file in a way that will cause MD4 to generate the same result as that for the original file is considered extremely difficult.


An improved version of MD4.


See master definition site (MDS)


A directory solution that shares information between all enterprise directories, integrating them into one virtual directory. It centralizes administration, thereby reducing administrative costs. It synchronizes data between directories, thereby ensuring that it is consistent and up-to-date across the enterprise.


See shared server

native agent

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, an agent that runs under the control of the Oracle directory integration server (DIS).

naming attribute

A specialized attribute that holds values for different types of RDN. A naming attribute is identifiable by its mnemonic label, usually cn, sn, ou, o, c, and so on. For example, the naming attribute c is the mnemonic for the naming attribute country, and it holds the RDN for specific country values.

naming context

A subtree that resides entirely on one server. It must be contiguous, that is, it must begin at an entry that serves as the top of the subtree, and extend downward to either leaf entries or knowledge references (also called referrals) to subordinate naming contexts. It can range in size from a single entry to the entire DIT.

Oracle Net Services

The foundation of the Oracle family of networking products, allowing services and their client applications to reside on different computers and communicate. The main function of Oracle Net Services is to establish network sessions and transfer data between a client application and a server. Oracle Net Services is located on each computer in the network. Once a network session is established, Oracle Net Services acts as a data courier for the client and the server.

net service name

A simple name for a service that resolves to a connect descriptor. Users initiate a connect request by passing a user name and password along with a net service name in a connect string for the service to which they wish to connect:

CONNECT username/password@net_service_name

Depending on your needs, net service names can be stored in a variety of places, including:

object class

A named group of attributes. When you want to assign attributes to an entry, you do so by assigning to that entry the object classes that hold those attributes.

All objects associated with the same object class share the same attributes.


See Oracle Enterprise Manager.

OID Control Utility

A command-line tool for issuing run-server and stop-server commands. The commands are interpreted and executed by the OID Monitor process.

OID Database Password Utility

The utility used to change the password with which Oracle Internet Directory connects to an Oracle database.

OID Monitor

The Oracle Internet Directory component that initiates, monitors, and terminates the Oracle directory server processes. It also controls the replication server if one is installed, and the Oracle directory integration server.

one-way function

A function that is easy to compute in one direction but quite difficult to reverse compute, that is, to compute in the opposite direction.

one-way hash function

A one-way function that takes a variable sized input and creates a fixed size output.

Oracle Call Interface (OCI)

An application programming interface (API) that allows you to create applications that use the native procedures or function calls of a third-generation language to access an Oracle database server and control all phases of SQL statement execution.

Oracle Directory Integration platform

A component of Oracle Internet Directory. It allows various information repositories to synchronize with Oracle Internet Directory and to form a single virtual directory.

Oracle directory integration server (DIS)

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, the server that drives the synchronization of data between Oracle Internet Directory and a connected directory.

Oracle Directory Manager

A Java-based tool with a graphical user interface for administering Oracle Internet Directory.

Oracle Enterprise Manager

A separate Oracle product that combines a graphical console, agents, common services, and tools to provide an integrated and comprehensive systems management platform for managing Oracle products.

Oracle Internet Directory

A general purpose directory service that enables retrieval of information about dispersed users and network resources. It combines Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Version 3 with the high performance, scalability, robustness, and availability of Oracle9i.

Oracle PKI certificate usages

Defines Oracle application types that a certificate supports.

Oracle Wallet Manager

A Java-based application that security administrators use to manage public-key security credentials on clients and servers.

Oracle9i Replication

A feature in Oracle9i that allows database tables to be kept synchronized across two Oracle databases.

other information repository

In an Oracle Directory Integration platform environment, in which Oracle Internet Directory serves as the central directory, any information repository except Oracle Internet Directory.


A unique, non-overlapping directory naming context that is stored on one directory server.

partner agent

A directory integration agent for which the Oracle Directory Integration server performs mapping, scheduling, and error handling.

PKCS #12

A public-key encryption standard (PKCS). RSA Data Security, Inc. PKCS #12 is an industry standard for storing and transferring personal authentication credentials--typically in a format called a wallet.

Message text that has not been encrypted.
private key

In public-key cryptography, this key is the secret key. It is primarily used for decryption but is also used for encryption with digital signatures.


See directory integration profile

proxy user

A kind of user typically employed in an environment with a middle tier such as a firewall. In such an environment, the end user authenticates to the middle tier. The middle tier then logs into the directory on the end user's behalf, but does so as a proxy user. A proxy user has the privilege to switch identities and, once it has logged into the directory, switches to the end user's identity. It then performs operations on the end user's behalf, using the authorization appropriate to that particular end user.

public key

In public-key cryptography this key is made public to all, it is primarily used for encryption but can be used for verifying signatures.

public-key cryptography

Cryptography based on methods involving a public key and a private key.

public-key encryption

The process in which the sender of a message encrypts the message with the public key of the recipient. Upon delivery, the message is decrypted by the recipient using the recipient's private key.

public/private key pair

A mathematically related set of two numbers where one is called the private key and the other is called the public key. Public keys are typically made widely available, while private keys are available only to their owners. Data encrypted with a public key can only be decrypted with its associated private key and vice versa. Data encrypted with a public key cannot be decrypted with the same public key.


See knowledge reference.

relational database

A structured collection of data that stores data in tables consisting of one or more rows, each containing the same set of columns. Oracle makes it very easy to link the data in multiple tables. This is what makes Oracle a relational database management system, or RDBMS. It stores data in two or more tables and enables you to define relationships between the tables. The link is based on one or more fields common to both tables.


Each copy of a naming context that is contained within a single server.


See relative distinguished name (RDN).

registry entry

An entry containing runtime information associated with invocations of Oracle directory servers, called a directory server instance. Registry entries are stored in the directory itself, and remain there until the corresponding directory server instance stops.

relative distinguished name (RDN)

The local, most granular level entry name. It has no other qualifying entry names that would serve to uniquely address the entry. In the example, cn=Smith,o=acme,c=US, the RDN is cn=Smith.

replication agreement

A special directory entry that represents the replication relationship among the directory servers in a directory replication group (DRG).

response time

The time between the submission of a request and the completion of the response.

root DSE

See root directory specific entry.

root directory specific entry

An entry storing operational information about the directory. The information is stored in a number of attributes.


See Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL)


The ability of a system to provide throughput in proportion to, and limited only by, available hardware resources.


The collection of attributes, object classes, and their corresponding matching rules.

Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)

An algorithm that takes a message of less than 264 bits in length and produces a 160-bit message digest. The algorithm is slightly slower than MD5, but the larger message digest makes it more secure against brute-force collision and inversion attacks.

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

An industry standard protocol designed by Netscape Communications Corporation for securing network connections. SSL provides authentication, encryption, and data integrity using public key infrastructure (PKI).

service time

The time between the initiation of a request and the completion of the response to the request.

session key

A key for symmetric-key cryptosystems that is used for the duration of one message or communication session


See System Global Area (SGA).


See Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA).

shared server

A server that is configured to allow many user processes to share very few server processes, so the number of users that can be supported is increased. With shared server configuration, many user processes connect to a dispatcher. The dispatcher directs multiple incoming network session requests to a common queue. An idle shared server process from a shared pool of server processes picks up a request from the queue. This means a small pool of server processes can server a large amount of clients. Contrast with dedicated server.


An entry that has the same parent as one or more other entries.

simple authentication

The process by which the client identifies itself to the server by means of a DN and a password which are not encrypted when sent over the network. In the simple authentication option, the server verifies that the DN and password sent by the client match the DN and password stored in the directory.

Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL)

A method for adding authentication support to connection-based protocols. To use this specification, a protocol includes a command for identifying and authenticating a user to a server and for optionally negotiating a security layer for subsequent protocol interactions. The command has a required argument identifying a SASL mechanism.

single key-pair wallet

A PKCS #12-format wallet that contains a single user certificate and its associated private key. The public key is imbedded in the certificate.


See consumer.


Standalone LDAP daemon.

smart knowledge reference

A knowledge reference that is returned when the knowledge reference entry is in the scope of the search. It points the user to the server that stores the requested information.

specific administrative area

Administrative areas control:

A specific administrative area controls one of the above aspects of administration. A specific administrative area is part of an autonomous administrative area.

sponsor node

In replication, the node that is used to provide initial data to a new node.


See Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).


An object class derived from another object class. The object class from which it is derived is called its superclass.

subschema DN

The list of DIT areas having independent schema definitions.


A type of entry containing information applicable to a group of entries in a subtree. The information can be of these types:

Subentries are located immediately below the root of an administrative area.

subordinate reference

A knowledge reference pointing downward in the DIT to a naming context that starts immediately below an entry.


An attribute with one or more options, in contrast to that same attribute without the options. For example, a commonName (cn) attribute with American English as an option is a subtype of the commonName (cn) attribute without that option. Conversely, the commonName (cn) attribute without an option is the supertype of the same attribute with an option.


A specific type of subentry that contains ACL information.


A specific type of subentry containing schema information.

super user

A special directory administrator who typically has full access to directory information.


The object class from which another object class is derived. For example, the object class person is the superclass of the object class organizationalPerson. The latter, namely, organizationalPerson, is a subclass of person and inherits the attributes contained in person.

superior reference

A knowledge reference pointing upward to a DSA that holds a naming context higher in the DIT than all the naming contexts held by the referencing DSA.


An attribute without options, in contrast to the same attribute with one or more options. For example, the commonName (cn) attribute without an option is the supertype of the same attribute with an option. Conversely, a commonName (cn) attribute with American English as an option is a subtype of the commonName (cn) attribute without that option.


In replication, the server that holds the master copy of the naming context. It supplies updates from the master copy to the consumer server.

System Global Area (SGA)

A group of shared memory structures that contain data and control information for one Oracle database instance. If multiple users are concurrently connected to the same instance, the data in the instance SGA is shared among the users. Consequently, the SGA is sometimes referred to as the "shared global area."

system operational attribute

An attribute holding information that pertains to the operation of the directory itself. Some operational information is specified by the directory to control the server, for example, the time stamp for an entry. Other operational information, such as access information, is defined by administrators and is used by the directory program in its processing.


See Transport Layer Security (TLS)

think time

The time the user is not engaged in actual use of the processor.


The number of requests processed by Oracle Internet Directory per unit of time. This is typically represented as "operations per second."

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

A protocol providing communications privacy over the Internet. The protocol allows client-server applications to communicate in a way that prevents eavesdropping, tampering, or message forgery.

trusted certificate

A third party identity that is qualified with a level of trust. The trust is used when an identity is being validated as the entity it claims to be. Typically, the certificate authorities you trust issue user certificates.


See trusted certificate.


Fixed-width 16-bit Unicode. Each character occupies 16 bits of storage. The Latin-1 characters are the first 256 code points in this standard, so it can be viewed as a 16-bit extension of Latin-1.


A type of universal character set, a collection of 64K characters encoded in a 16-bit space. It encodes nearly every character in just about every existing character set standard, covering most written scripts used in the world. It is owned and defined by Unicode Inc. Unicode is canonical encoding which means its value can be passed around in different locales. But it does not guarantee a round-trip conversion between it and every Oracle character set without information loss.

UNIX Crypt

The UNIX encryption algorithm.

UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)

The standard time common to every place in the world. Formerly and still widely called Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and also World Time, UTC nominally reflects the mean solar time along the Earth's prime meridian. UTC is indicated by a z at the end of the value, for example, 200011281010z.


A variable-width encoding of UCS-2 which uses sequences of 1, 2, or 3 bytes per character. Characters from 0-127 (the 7-bit ASCII characters) are encoded with one byte, characters from 128-2047 require two bytes, and characters from 2048-65535 require three bytes. The Oracle character set name for this is UTF-8 (for the Unicode 2.1 standard). The standard has left room for expansion to support the UCS4 characters with sequences of 4, 5, and 6 bytes per character.


An abstraction used to store and manage security credentials for an individual entity. It implements the storage and retrieval of credentials for use with various cryptographic services. A wallet resource locator (WRL) provides all the necessary information to locate the wallet.

wait time

The time between the submission of the request and initiation of the response.


A popular format from ISO used to sign public keys.

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