Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 7


Extends the javax.naming package to provide functionality for accessing directory services.

See: Description

Package Description

Extends the javax.naming package to provide functionality for accessing directory services.

This package defines the directory operations of the Java Naming and Directory InterfaceTM (JNDI).   JNDI provides naming and directory functionality to applications written in the Java programming language. It is designed to be independent of any specific naming or directory service implementation. Thus a variety of services--new, emerging, and already deployed ones--can be accessed in a common way.

This package allows applications to retrieve and update attributes associated with objects stored in a directory, and to search for objects using specified attributes.

The Directory Context

The DirContext interface represents a directory context. It defines methods for examining and updating attributes associated with a directory object, or directory entry as it is sometimes called.

You use getAttributes() to retrieve the attributes associated with a directory object (for which you supply the name). Attributes are modified using modifyAttributes(). You can add, replace, or remove attributes and/or attribute values using this operation.

DirContext also behaves as a naming context by extending the Context interface in the javax.naming package. This means that any directory object can also provide a naming context. For example, the directory object for a person might contain the attributes of that person, and at the same time provide a context for naming objects relative to that person such as his printers and home directory.


DirContext contains methods for performing content-based searching of the directory. In the simplest and most common form of usage, the application specifies a set of attributes--possibly with specific values--to match, and submits this attribute set, to the search() method. There are other overloaded forms of search() that support more sophisticated search filters.

Package Specification

The JNDI API Specification and related documents can be found in the JNDI documentation.
Java™ Platform
Standard Ed. 7

Submit a bug or feature
For further API reference and developer documentation, see Java SE Documentation. That documentation contains more detailed, developer-targeted descriptions, with conceptual overviews, definitions of terms, workarounds, and working code examples.
Copyright © 1993, 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.