The Future: On-going work on LDAPv3, X.500, and Related Topics

A section of An LDAP Roadmap & FAQ: A tutorial aid to navigating various LDAP and X.500 resources on the Internet, v2.0a

by: Jeff Hodges
Under Construction   This is v2.0a -- a "beta" release -- it is still way under construction. You will find version 1.5, which may or may not be more up-to-date, HERE. Apologies for any confusion.
Last updated: 16-Feb-1999
 Back to the main LDAP Roadmap page v2.0a

LDAP-oriented IETF Working Groups

There's been several LDAP-oriented IETF Working Groups, so I'm dividing this section into a subsection on the current groups and the former ones.

Current LDAP-oriented IETF Working Groups

Former LDAP-oriented IETF Working Groups


Nascent LDAP-oriented IETF Working Groups

Current LDAP-related IETF Working Groups


Former LDAP-related IETF Working Groups


rfc1276    Replication and Distributed Operations extensions to provide an Internet Directory using X.500. S.E. Hardcastle-Kille. November1991. (Format: TXT=33731, PS=217170 bytes) (Status: PROPOSED STANDARD)

rfc1275    Replication Requirements to provide an Internet Directory using X.500. S.E. Hardcastle-Kille. November 1991. (Format: TXT=4616, PS=83736 bytes) (Status: INFORMATIONAL)      

Finding LDAP Directory Services

Work on this topic is still evolving in the IETF's LDAP Service Deployment working group. The two Internet-drafts below are the latest thinking on the topic.  

There is a fair amount of work going on currently in the IETF on directory services in general, and X.500/LDAP in particular. Most of this work is occuring within the Applications area of the IETF.

Do note, though, that the IETF doesn't "work on" X.500 directly. That is the domain of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The IETF's work in regards to X.500(93) (and future X.500 versions) is or will be in terms of...

  • what X.500 features are appropriate to include in LDAP, given that LDAP can be utilized either stand-alone or as an X.500 frontend?
  • Thus said, the three relevant working groups within the Applications Area are...
  • Access, Searching and Indexing of Directories (asid)
  • Common Indexing Protocol (find)
  • Integrated Directory Services (ids)
  • There is much current work going on in the ASID working group on the next version (i.e. V3) of LDAP (be sure to see this section below for links to additional LDAP info, including an LDAPv3 info repository), also an "application/directory" content type for MIME, URL syntax for LDAP, an objectclass and attribute to hold URIs, "dynamic directory" usage for LDAP-based directories, etc.

    The best way to understand and follow the direction of current developments and get up-to-speed on it is to read the Internet Drafts. See the ASID web page for the current list of applicable internet drafts including the LDAPv3 ones (look towards the bottom of that page).

    If you want to know about existing standards, refer to the above sections of this page, and/or visit an RFC repository.

    The IDS working group is working on an "Internet White Pages Schema" for a generic "person". They are also working on guidelines for deploying and running an Internet white pages service, privacy issues, and other topics oriented towards actually using and building stuff on top of a directory infrastructure. See the IDS page for their precise charter and a list of applicable IDs (Internet Drafts).

    The FIND group is working on a "common indexing protocol" which would help to ease the cost of high-level searches (and other stuff). An example of a high level search is "please find Joe User whom I believe works in some public job in the state of colorado". This work is intended to be independent of any particular directory access protocol -- specifically to be useful to LDAP, Whois++, and CCSO. See the FIND page for relevant info.

    Note that there is a large intersection between the work of these three groups. For example, people deploying LDAP-based directories (perhaps for some enterprise, say) might desire to use the gneric white-pages schema for their people entries, and also support the common indexing protocol in whatever appropriate fashion such that their entries can be appropriately found in high-level searches.

    The next section of these Roadmap pages provides pointers to the LDAP specifications, associated standards documents, as well as other resources.

    © 1996-1999 Jeff Hodges, All Rights Reserved