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Sun Java System LDAP SDK for C Programming Guide


base DN     The distinguished name (DN) that identifies the starting point of a search. For example, if you want to search all entries under the ou=People,dc=example,dc=com subtree of the directory, ou=People,dc=example,dc=com is the base DN. For more information, see "Specifying the Base DN and Scope" of Chapter 5, "Searching a LDAP Directory."

client     The calling module in the client/server architecture, a client is the requestor of services.

connection handle     A pointer to the LDAP structure that contains information about the connection to the LDAP server.

control     LDAP controls are specified as part of the LDAPv3. A control provides the means to specify additional information for an operation. Clients and servers can send controls as part of the requests and responses for an operation. For more information, see Chapter 13, "Working with LDAP Controls."

DIT     The hierarchical organization of entries that make up a directory. DIT stands for “Directory Information Tree.”

DSA     An X.500 term for a directory server. DSA stands for “Directory System Agent.”

DSE     An entry containing server-specific information. DSE stands for “DSA-specific entry.” Each server has different attribute values for the DSE. For more information, see "Understanding DSEs" of Chapter 10, "Retrieving Server Information."

extended operation     An extension mechanism in the LDAPv3. You can define extended operations to perform services not covered by the protocol. The extended operation mechanism specifies the means for an LDAP client to request a custom operation (not specified in the LDAP) from an LDAP server. For more information, see Chapter 15, "Extended Operations."

operational attributes     Attributes that are used by servers for administering the directory. For example, creatorsName is an operational attribute that specifies the DN of the user who added the entry. Operational attributes are not returned in any search results unless you specify the attribute by name in the search request.

referral     Refers an LDAP client to a different LDAP server. An LDAP server can be configured to send your client a referral if your client requests a DN with a suffix that is not in the server’s DIT. For example, if the directory includes entries under dc=example,dc=com and your client requests an entry under dc=exampleWest,dc=com, the request would be referred to a different LDAP server. (Referrals contain LDAP URLs that specify the host, port, and base DN of another LDAP server.)


Although similar, referrals are not the same as search references. A search reference is returned as part of the results of a search; a referral is returned when the base DN of a search (or the target DN of any other LDAP operation) is not part of the LDAP server’s directory tree.

referral hop limit     The maximum number of referrals that your client can follow in a row. For example, suppose your client receives a referral from LDAP server A to LDAP server B. After your client follows the referral to LDAP server B, that server sends you a referral to LDAP server C, which in turn refers you to LDAP server D. Your client has been referred 3 times in a row. If the referral hop limit is 2, the referral hop limit has been exceeded.

root DSE     A DSE that is located at the root of the DIT. For more information, see "Getting the Root DSE" of Chapter 10, "Retrieving Server Information."

search reference     Also known as continuation references, search result references, or smart referrals. A search reference is an entry in the directory that refers to another LDAP server (the reference is in the form of an LDAP URL). Search references are returned in search results along with entries found in the search. (A referral, on the other hand, is returned before searching through any entries. A referral is returned if the base DN does not have a suffix that is handled by the server.)

search result reference     See search reference.

server     The module from which services are requested in the client/server architecture.

server plug-in     The Sun Java System Directory Server supports a plug-in interface that allows you to extend the functionality of the server. You can write plug-ins that handle extended operations or SASL authentication requests. For more information on server plug-ins, see the Directory Server 5.2 API Programming Guide or API Reference both located at

smart referral     See search reference.

subschema entry     Entry containing all the schema definitions (definitions of object classes, attributes, matching rules, and so on) used by entries in part of a directory tree. For more information, see "Getting Schema Information" of Chapter 10, "Retrieving Server Information."

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