System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)

NIS+ Directory Object Names

A directory's simple name is simply the name of the directory object. Its fully qualified name consists of its simple name plus the fully qualified name of its domain (which always includes a trailing dot):

groups_dir (simple name) (fully qualified name)

If you set up an unusual hierarchy in which several layers of directories do not form a domain, be sure to include the names of the intermediate directories. For example:

The simple name is normally used from within the same domain, and the fully qualified name is normally used from a remote domain. However, by specifying search paths in a domain's NIS_PATH environment variable, you can use the simple name from remote domains (see NIS+ NIS_PATH Environment Variable).