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LDAP Full Form

Last Updated : 30 Apr, 2020
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LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It is a vendor-neutral, industry-standard application protocol used to access and manage directory information services and provides a means to manage user and group membership stored in Active Directory. It was developed by Tim Howes, Steve Kille and Wengyik Yeong in 1993. Originally, LDAP was just a network protocol used to get data out of an X.500 directory(a series of computer networking standards covering electronic directory services).



  • Open Source: OpenLDAP is an open-source implementation of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol which means it can be downloaded freely.
  • Supports TLS: Since LDAP supports Transport Layer Security, sensitive data can be protected.
  • Flexibility: LDAP supports a wide range of databases to store directories allowing its users to choose the database according to the type of information the server needs to circulate.
  • Popular: Due to well defined client API, number of LDAP-enabled applications are increasing.


  • It has implementation in open-source which makes it free and easily accessible.
  • It is lightweight considering other modern protocols.
  • It includes strong encoding mechanisms and constraints and a number of authentication types through SASL (simple authentication and security layer) making it highly secure.
  • It has a broad industry support.
  • It is used by many services like DNS.

Disadvantages of LDAP

  • LDAP does not support as many security features as X.500.
  • It is quite complex.

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