Chapter 3. The Directory

Because distributed workforces fully rely on the ability to connect remote, mobile, and in-office users with the resources they need, a directory system that can accomplish this is one of the most critical elements of your cloud-based IT infrastructure.

At its core, a directory is essentially a database that stores information about users and connects them to resources. Some directory services remain fairly true to this format while others have expanded to include robust functionality that helps unify distributed environments. Companies more frequently choose the latter option because it’s the more robust solution that can centralize user management and connect users to their resources from wherever they are. The alternative is to invest in several separate solutions and attempt to integrate them all seamlessly to achieve the same result.

To find the right directory solution for your organization, it’s important to understand the different types of directory solutions on the market and the functionalities they may offer. Because directories have such a wide range of capabilities, I’ll outline some of the main protocols, APIs, and functionalities in this chapter to help you weigh your options. I will also cover common directory solutions many companies choose and key factors to consider when making your decision.

Directory Protocols and APIs

While some directory implementations use only one protocol, others use a combination of many protocols and APIs ...

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