Skip Headers
Oracle® Fusion Middleware Application Developer's Guide for Oracle Identity Management
11g Release 1 (11.1.1)

Part Number E10186-04
Go to Documentation Home
Go to Book List
Book List
Go to Table of Contents
Go to Index
Go to Feedback page
Contact Us

Go to previous page
Go to next page
PDF · Mobi · ePub

4 Developing Applications With Oracle Extensions to the Standard APIs

This chapter introduces the Oracle extensions to the Java and PL/SQL LDAP APIs. Chapter 5 explains how the Java extensions are used. Chapter 6 is about the PL/SQL extensions. Oracle does not support extensions to the C API.

This chapter contains these topics:

4.1 Using Oracle Extensions to the Standard APIs

The APIs that Oracle has added to the existing APIs fulfill these functions:

Subsequent sections examine each of these functions in detail. Note that applications must use the underlying APIs for such common tasks as establishing and closing connections and looking up directory entries not searchable with the API extensions.

Figure 4-1 shows what program flow looks like when the API extensions are used.

Figure 4-1 Programmatic Flow for API Extensions

Description of Figure 4-1 follows
Description of "Figure 4-1 Programmatic Flow for API Extensions"

As Figure 4-1 shows, an application first establishes a connection to Oracle Internet Directory. It can then use the standard API functions and the API extensions interchangeably.

4.2 Creating an Application Identity in the Directory

Before an application can use the LDAP APIs and their extensions, it must establish an LDAP connection. After it establishes a connection, it must have permission to perform operations. But neither task can be completed if the application lacks an identity in the directory.

4.2.1 Creating an Application Identity

Creating an application identity in the directory is relatively simple. Such an entry requires only two object classes: orclApplicationEntity and top. You can use either Oracle Directory Services Manager or an LDIF file to create the entry. In LDIF notation, the entry looks like this:

dn: orclapplicationcommonname=application_name
changetype: add
objectclass: orclApplicationEntity
userpassword: password

The value provided for userpassword is the value that the application uses to bind to the directory.

4.2.2 Assigning Privileges to an Application Identity

To learn about the privileges available to an application, see the chapter about delegating privileges for an Oracle technology deployment in Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide for Oracle Internet Directory. After identifying the right set of privileges, add the application entity DN to the appropriate directory groups. The reference just provided explains how to perform this task using either Oracle Directory Services Manager or the ldapmodify command.

4.3 Managing Users

This section describes user management features of the LDAP APIs.

Directory-enabled applications need to perform the following operations:

4.4 Managing Groups

Groups are modeled in Oracle Internet Directory as a collection of distinguished names. Directory-enabled applications must access Oracle Internet Directory to obtain the properties of a group and to verify that a given user is a member of that group.

A group is typically identified by one of the following:

4.5 Managing Realms

An identity management realm is an entity or organization that subscribes to the services offered in the Oracle product stack. Directory-enabled applications must access Oracle Internet Directory to obtain realm properties such as user search base or password policy.

A realm is typically identified by one of the following:

4.6 Discovering a Directory Server

Directory server discovery (DSD) enables automatic discovery of the Oracle directory server by directory clients. It enables deployments to manage the directory host name and port number information in the central DNS server. All directory clients perform a DNS query at runtime and connect to the directory server. Directory server location information is stored in a DNS service location record (SRV).

An SRV contains:

DSD also allows clients to discover the directory host name information from the ldap.ora file itself.

This section contains these topics:

See Also:

  • "Discovering LDAP Services with DNS" by Michael P. Armijo at this URL:
  • "A DNS RR for specifying the location of services (DNS SRV)", Internet RFC 2782 at the same URL.

4.6.1 Benefits of Oracle Internet Directory Discovery Interfaces

Typically, the LDAP host name and port information is provided statically in a file called ldap.ora which is located on the client in $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin. For large deployments with many clients, this information becomes very cumbersome to manage. For example, each time the host name or port number of a directory server is changed, the ldap.ora file on each client must be modified.

Directory server discovery eliminates the need to manage the host name and port number in the ldap.ora file. Because the host name information resides on one central DNS server, the information must be updated only once. All clients can then discover the new host name information dynamically from the DNS when they connect to it.

DSD provides a single interface to obtain directory server information without regard to the mechanism or standard used to obtain it. Currently, Oracle directory server information can be obtained either from DNS or from ldap.ora using a single interface.

4.6.2 Usage Model for Discovery Interfaces

The first step in discovering host name information is to create a discovery handle. A discovery handle specifies the source from which host name information is discovered. In case of the Java API, the discovery handle is created by creating an instance of the oracle.ldap.util.discovery.DiscoveryHelper class.

DiscoveryHelper disco = new DiscoveryHelper(DiscoveryHelper.DNS_DISCOVER);

The argument DiscoveryHelper.DNS_DISCOVER specifies the source. In this case the source is DNS.

Each source may require some inputs to be specified for discovery of host name information. In the case of DNS these inputs are:

  • domain name

  • discover method

  • SSL mode

Detailed explanation of these options is given in "Determining Server Name and Port Number From DNS".

// Set the property for the DNS_DN
// Set the property for the DNS_DISCOVER_METHOD
// Set the property for the SSLMODE

Now the information can be discovered.

// Call the discover method;

The discovered information is returned in a result handle (reshdl). Now the results can be extracted from the result handle.

ArrayList result =
if (result != null)
   if (result.size() == 0) return;
   System.out.println("The hostnames are :-");
   for (int i = 0; i< result.size();i++)
      String host = (String)result.get(i);

4.6.3 Determining Server Name and Port Number From DNS

Determining a host name and port number from a DNS lookup involves obtaining a domain and then searching for SRV resource records based on that domain. If there is more than one SRV resource record, they are sorted by weight and priority. The SRV resource records contain host names and port numbers required for connection. This information is retrieved from the resourcerecords and returned to the user.

There are three approaches for determining the domain name required for lookup:

  • Mapping the distinguished name (DN) of the naming context

  • Using the domain component of local machine

  • Looking up the default SRV record in the DNS Mapping the DN of the Naming Context

The first approach is to map the distinguished name (DN) of naming context into domain name using the algorithm given here.

The output domain name is initially empty. The DN is processed sequentially from right to left. An RDN is able to be converted if it meets the following conditions:

  • It consists of a single attribute type and value

  • The attribute type is dc

  • The attribute value is non-null

If the RDN can be converted, then the attribute value is used as a domain name component (label).

The first such value becomes the rightmost, and the most significant, domain name component. Successive converted RDN values extend to the left. If an RDN cannot be converted, then processing stops. If the output domain name is empty when processing stops, then the DN cannot be converted into a domain name.

For the DN cn=John Doe,ou=accounting,dc=example,dc=net, the client converts the dc components into the DNS name Search by Domain Component of Local Machine

Sometimes a DN cannot be mapped to a domain name. For example, the DN o=Oracle IDC,Bangalore cannot be mapped to a domain name. In this case, the second approach uses the domain component of the local machine on which the client is running. For example, if the client machine domain name is, the domain name for the lookup is Search by Default SRV Record in DNS

The third approach looks for a default SRV record in the DNS. This record points to the default server in the deployment. The domain component for this default record is _default.

After the domain name has been determined, it is used to send a query to DNS. The DNS is queried for SRV records specified in Oracle Internet Directory-specific format. For example, if the domain name obtained is, the query for non-SSL LDAP servers is for SRV resource records having the owner name

It is possible that no SRV resource records are returned from the DNS. In such a case the DNS lookup is performed for the SRV resource records specified in standard format. For example, the owner name would be

The result of the query is a set of SRV records. These records are then sorted and the host information is extracted from them. This information is then returned to the user.


The approaches mentioned here can also be tried in succession, stopping when the query lookup of DNS is successful. Try the approaches in the order as described in this section. DNS is queried only for SRV records in Oracle Internet Directory-specific format. If none of the approaches is successful, then all the approaches are tried again, but this time DNS is queried for SRV records in standard format.

4.6.4 Environment Variables for DNS Server Discovery

The following environment variables override default behavior for discovering a DNS server.

Table 4-1 Environment Variables for DNS Discovery

Environment Variable Description

IP address of the DNS server containing the SRV records. If the variable is not defined, then the DNS server address is obtained from the host machine.


Port number on which the DNS server listens for queries. If the variable is not defined, then the DNS server is assumed to be listening at standard port number 53.


Domain of the host machine. If the variable is not defined, then the domain is obtained from the host machine itself.

4.6.5 Programming Interfaces for DNS Server Discovery

The programming interface provided is a single interface to discover directory server information without regard to the mechanism or standard used to obtain it. Information can be discovered from various sources. Each source can use its own mechanism to discover the information. For example, the LDAP host and port information can be discovered from the DNS acting as the source. Here DSD is used to discover host name information from the DNS.

See Also:

For detailed reference information and class descriptions, refer to the Javadoc located on the product CD.