You can extend the standard schema if it is too limited for your directory needs. Follow these guidelines when customizing schema:
Reuse existing schema elements whenever possible.
Minimize the number of mandatory attributes that you define for each object class.
Do not define more than one object class or attribute for the same purpose.
Keep the schema as simple as possible.
When customizing the schema, do not modify, delete, or replace any existing definitions of attributes or object classes in the standard schema. Doing so can lead to compatibility problems with other directories and with LDAP client applications.
Do not modify any Directory Server internal operational attributes. You can, however, create your own operational variables for external applications.
Always define object classes instead of using objectClass: extensibleObject. Directory Server does not perform schema checking for entries that have the object class extensibleObject, so it does not constrain or check what attributes are present on the entry. Typos in applications, for example, giveName for the givenName attribute type, go unnoticed by Directory Server. Also, Directory Server must assume that all otherwise undefined attributes of extensibleObject entries are multivalued and have case-insensitive string syntax. Furthermore, some applications rely on entries having a particular object class. In general, if you have an application that requires an extension to an object class, do not relinquish schema management. Instead, create an auxiliary object class that contains the attributes that are required for the application.
This section contains information about the default directory schema, and about creating customized attributes and object classes.
The schema provided with Directory Server is described in a set of files that are stored in the instance-path/config/schema/directory.
This directory contains all of the common schema for Directory Server and related products. The LDAP v3 standard user and organization schema is located in the 00core.ldif file. The configuration schema used by earlier versions of the directory is located in the 50ns-directory.ldif file. The user created elements such as objectclasses and attributes are stored in 99user.ldif.
Do not modify files in this directory. To manage Directory Server schema, use the ldapmodify(1) command.
Each LDAP object class or attribute must be assigned a unique name and object identifier (OID). When you define a schema, you need an OID that is unique to your organization. One OID is enough to meet all of your schema needs. You then add new branches on that OID for your attributes and object classes.
Obtaining and assigning OIDs in your schema involves doing the following:
Obtaining an OID for your organization from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) or a national organization.
In some countries, corporations already have OIDs assigned to them. If your organization does not already have an OID, you can obtain an OID from IANA.
Creating an OID registry so you can track OID assignments.
An OID registry is a list that you maintain, which gives the OIDs and OID descriptions that are used in your directory schema. A OID registry ensures that no OID is ever used for more than one purpose.
Creating branches in the OID tree to accommodate schema elements.
Create at least two branches under the OID branch or your directory schema, using OID.1 for attributes and OID.2 for object classes. If you want to define your own matching rules or controls, you can add new branches as needed, such as OID.3.
When creating names for new attributes and object classes, make the name meaningful so your schema is easier to use.
Avoid naming collisions between custom schema elements and existing schema elements by including a unique prefix on custom elements. For example, Example.com Corporation might add the prefix Example before each of its custom schema elements. It might also add a special object class called ExamplePerson to identify Example.com employees in its directory.
Note that in LDAP, attribute type names and object class names are case insensitive. Applications should treat them as case insensitive strings.
Add new object classes when the existing object classes do not support all of the information you need to store in a directory entry.
There are two approaches to creating new object classes:
Create many new object classes, one for each object class structure to which you want to add an attribute.
Create a single object class that supports all of the attributes that you create for your directory. You create this kind of an object class by defining it to be an AUXILIARY object class.
Suppose your site wants to create the attributes ExampleDepartmentNumber and ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber. You can create several object classes that allow some subset of these attributes. You can create an object class called ExamplePerson and have it allow the ExampleDepartmentNumber and ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber attributes. The parent of ExamplePerson would be inetOrgPerson. You can then create an object class called ExampleOrganization and have it also allow the ExampleDepartmentNumber and ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber attributes. The parent of ExampleOrganization would be the organization object class.
Your new object classes would appear in LDAP v3 schema format as follows:
objectclasses: (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.27.9220.127.116.11 NAME 'ExamplePerson' DESC 'Example Person Object Class' SUP inetorgPerson STRUCTURAL MAY (ExampleDepartmentNumber $ ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber) ) objectclasses: (18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.27.9126.96.36.199 NAME 'ExampleOrganization' DESC 'Example Organization Object Class' SUP organization STRUCTURAL MAY (ExampleDepartmentNumber $ ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber) )
Alternatively, you can create a single object class that allows all of these attributes. Then you can use the object class with any entry on which you want to use the attributes. The single object class would appear as follows:
objectclasses: (188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.27.9220.127.116.11 NAME 'ExampleEntry' DESC 'Example Auxiliary Object Class' SUP top AUXILIARY MAY (ExampleDepartmentNumber $ ExampleEmergencyPhoneNumber) )
The new ExampleEntry object class is marked AUXILIARY, meaning that it can be used with any entry regardless of its structural object class.
Consider the following when deciding how to implement new object classes.
Multiple STRUCTURAL object classes result in more schema elements to create and maintain.
Generally, the number of elements remains small and needs little maintenance. However, if you plan to add more than two or three object classes to your schema, you might find it easier to use a single object class.
Multiple STRUCTURAL object classes require more careful and more rigid data design.
Rigid data design forces you to consider the object class structure on which every piece of data is placed. You might find this restriction to be either helpful or cumbersome.
Single AUXILIARY object classes simplify data design when you have data that you want to put on more than one type of object class structure.
For example, suppose that you want preferredOS on both a person and a group entry. You might want to create only a single object class to allow this attribute.
Design object classes that relate to real objects and group elements that constitute sensible groupings.
Avoid required attributes for new object classes.
Requiring attributes can make your schema inflexible. When you create a new object class, allow rather than require attributes.
After defining a new object class, you need to decide which attributes the object class allows and requires, and from which object class or classes it inherits.
Add new attributes when the existing attributes do not support all of the information you need to store in a directory entry. Try to use standard attributes whenever possible. Search the attributes that already exist in the default directory schema and use those attributes in association with a new object class.
For example, you might find that you want to store more information on a person entry than the person, organizationalPerson, or inetOrgPerson object classes support. If you want to store birth dates in your directory, no attribute exists within the standard Directory Server schema. You can create a new attribute called dateOfBirth. Allow this attribute to be used on entries that represent people by defining a new auxiliary class that allows this attribute.