Querying AD with WMI

Up to now, we've shown how WMI can be a powerful resource to aid in managing components of individual computers. You may be wondering what impact WMI will have on Active Directory? It can, in fact, play as big a role in automating the management of Active Directory as you want. Also, over time, WMI's importance with respect to monitoring Active Directory will continue to grow as Microsoft develops new providers.

First we are going to review how you can use WMI and the Active Directory provider to access and query objects in Active Directory. We will then cover some specific WMI providers that Microsoft has made available in Windows Server 2003; these providers help you monitor certain aspects of Active Directory, such as trusts and replication. In the next chapter, we will cover the WMI DNS provider and how you can manage Microsoft DNS servers with it. To start with, let's look at the Active Directory provider.

The Active Directory provider uses the root\directory\ldap namespace. Within that namespace, every Active Directory schema class and attribute is mapped to corresponding WMI classes or properties. Each abstract class (e.g., top) is mapped to a WMI class with "ds_" prefixed on the name. Each nonabstract class (e.g., structural and auxiliary) is mapped to two classes. One has "ads_" prefixed, and the other has "ds_" prefixed. The "ads_" classes conform to the class hierarchy defined by the subClassOf attribute for each class. The "ds_" classes for nonabstract ...

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