Active Directory was first released in beta form in 1997 when Microsoft came to the point of implementing a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)-based directory service to support its NOS environment.
The first version of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) was released in 1993 as Request for Comments (RFC) 1487, but due to the absence of many features provided by X.500, it never really took off. It wasn’t until LDAPv2 was released in 1995 as RFC 1777 that LDAP started to gain popularity.
In 1997, the last major update to the LDAP specification, LDAPv3, was described in RFC 2251. It provided several new features and made LDAP robust enough and extensible enough to be suitable for most vendors to implement.
Hierarchical paths in Active Directory are known as distinguished names and can be used to uniquely reference an object. Distinguished names are defined in the LDAP standard as a means of referring to any object in the directory.If the domain had been called mydomain.mycorp.com, the distinguished name of the root would have looked like this:
dc stands for domain component and is used to specify domain or applicationpartition objects.
Active Directory supports using CN, L, O, OU, C, and DC. CN or OU is used in the majority of cases.
In Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003, the directory service is named Active Directory.
In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Windows Server verison, the directory service is named Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS).
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