Now that you know how LDAP works, it's time to put it intopractice. In this article, find out how to compile, install and configurethe OpenLDAP software suite, create an LDAP directory for your organization,and add entries to it. Also included: a detailed discussion of how to searchthe database using both the UNIX client tools supplied with OpenLDAP, andthe LDAP client built into Qualcomm Eudora.
So that takes care of creating and initializing the LDAP directory - you can use the techniques discussed on the previous page to add entries for other members of your organization, providing as much (or as little) detail as you desire for each entry. Once you're done, all you need to do is hook your LDAP-aware clients up to the server, so that you can begin using the directory in your daily activities.
Now, there are a large number of LDAP-aware clients available today - Microsoft and Netscape both support LDAP in their address book applications, as do other email clients like Qualcomm's Eudora Pro. Configuring an LDAP-aware client is pretty simple - all you need to do is provide the name of the LDAP server, together with the base DN to begin searching from, and the client will (usually) do the rest.
In order to demonstrate, I'll quickly hook Eudora up to the LDAP directory created over the previous pages. Pop open your Eudora mail client, and use the Tools -> Directory Services menu to bring up the Directory Services control panel.
Select "LDAP" from the Protocols box, and use the "New Database..." command to configure a new LDAP directory service. In the form that pops up, enter the IP address or name of the host running OpenLDAP,
and use the "Search Options" tab to specify the base from which to begin searching:
Save it, and you're done!
Now, in order to query the LDAP directory, simply select the server from the list at the bottom right of the control panel,
and enter your query in the search box. The results, if any, will appear in the results window:
You can now use this information for your own purposes - in this case, you would probably send the matching user(s) an email messge, or store the contact information in your address book. Other LDAP clients may allow you to do other, more complex things with the returned information - process it for display on a Web page, add it to a database, or scan it for pattern matches.