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Active Directory, 3rd Edition by Alistair G. Lowe-Norris, Robbie Allen, Joe Richards

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Chapter 18. Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM)

Shortly after Microsoft released Windows 2000 Active Directory, developers and administrators started asking for a standalone Microsoft LDAP service that was similar to Active Directory but didn't have the baggage of Active Directory. Baggage includes DNS requirements, the FRS requirements, Group Policy, and other domain pieces like Kerberos and the legacy SAM stuff—basically, something light and easy to set up and play with, and then tear back down as required. While you can do this with Active Directory, there tends to be additional clean-up and configuration required, and things unrelated to the LDAP functionality can get confused and cause it all to malfunction.

In November 2003, shortly after Windows Server 2003 Active Directory was released, Microsoft released Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) V1.0 to the web (RTW). This was the product that the developers and administrators had been asking for: Active Directory Lite. ADAM allows developers and administrators to play with Active Directory on Windows XP or Windows 2003 Servers without promoting the local host to a full domain controller. The only DNS requirement is resolution of the hostname. No FRS, no Kerberos, no group policy, no icky domain stuff. In fact, ADAM runs nicely as a regular Windows application that can leverage any Windows Domain authentication or local machine authentication that is available, as well as offering up its own authentication that is completely ...

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