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Building Java Enterprise Applications by Brett McLaughlin

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Directory Servers

Now that the database is ready to go, it’s time to round out the data storage by working with a directory server, which at least in this case is much simpler than working with a database. Almost all directory servers come with several predefined data structures; in this example application, these structures are almost completely sufficient for our needs. In this section I’ll discuss what information you’ll need to store in the directory and how you can use pre-built and custom structures to handle these data needs.

Briefly, though, let me discuss directory servers at a high level. This is by no means a complete overview of directory servers or LDAP, but it should at least get you through this chapter. First, you should realize that a directory server is laid out hierarchically, instead of in the relational manner of a database. Here is where all of those tree structures you studied in college finally start to pay off. An instance of a directory server is identified uniquely by its organization. The organization in a directory server is analogous to a database schema in an RDBMS. So if you named your database schema “Forethought” (for you Oracle users, the SID might be “FTHT”), your directory server would have an organization of “Forethought” as well.

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