Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.1 Reference

Communication With Client Applications

Directory Server listens for LDAP and DSML client application traffic on the port numbers you configure. Directory Server listens for LDAP connections as soon as the server starts. Directory Server only listens for DSML connections over HTTP if you enable the DSML service.

By default, Directory Server listens for LDAP connections on port 389 if the instance was created by root, 1389 if the instance was created by non-root. By default, Directory Server listens for LDAP connections over SSL on port 636 if the instance was created by root, 1636 if the instance was created by non-root. The DSML/HTTP port number is not defined by default. Instead, you supply a port number when enabling the DSML service.

    In order to enable client applications to reach Directory Server, you create instances on hosts with static IP addresses. The hostname is also usually referenced in DNS. Client applications typically need at least two pieces of information to access the directory.

  1. The hostname, or at least the IP address, of the system on which Directory Server runs.

  2. The port number on which Directory Server listens for client connections.

LDAP clients and servers do not usually open a new connection for every request. In the LDAP model, a client connects to the server to authenticate before performing other operations. The connection and authentication process is referred to as binding. Client applications can bind with credentials, but they can also bind anonymously. Directory Server lets you configure access accordingly both for known and anonymous clients. Client applications can also keep a connection open, but bind again, thus changing the authentication identity. This technique can reduce the costs of creating a new connection.

Once the bind has been performed and the client is authenticated, the client can request the following operations.


Add a new directory entry.


Checks whether an attribute value is the same as a given value.


Delete a directory entry.


Change one or more attributes of a directory entry.


Change the distinguished name of a directory entry.

This operation is for moving directory entries from one part of the directory information tree to another. For example, you could move uid=bjensen,ou=employees,dc=example,dc=com to uid=bjensen,ou=people,dc=example,dc=com.

When you move an parent entry, such as ou=people,dc=example,dc=com, the operation can take a very long time as Directory Server must move all child entries of the parent as well.


Change the relative distinguished name of a directory entry.

The relative distinguished name is the attribute value used to distinguish a directory entry from the others at the same level of the directory information tree.

This operation is for renaming directory entries. For example, you could rename uid=bjensen,ou=employees,dc=example,dc=com to uid=bcubbins,ou=people,dc=example,dc=com.

This operation is a special case of modDN. The modRDN operation is always relatively fast, however, as it involves modifying only leaf entries.


Find all the directory entries under a specified point in the directory tree that have attribute values matching a filter.

A search filter can specify one or more attribute characteristics. For example, to find entries with the surname Jensen, you use the LDAP filter (sn=Jensen). To find entries with surname Jensen and user ID beginning with the letter B, you use the LDAP filter (&(sn=Jensen)(uid=b*)).

When finished performing operations, a client can unbind. After unbinding, the connection is dropped by the client and the server. Client applications can also abandon operations, such as a search that is taking too long.

Directory Server can handle many client connections simultaneously. To handle connections, Directory Server consumes free file descriptors, and manages a number of threads. You can limit the system resources available to Directory Server through the server configuration. See Chapter 6, Tuning System Characteristics and Hardware Sizing, in Sun Java System Directory Server Enterprise Edition 6.1 Deployment Planning Guide for details.