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Active Directory, Second Edition by Alistair G. Lowe-Norris, Robbie Allen

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Integrating Applications and Services

Many applications rely on a directory to access user information and store application data. Since Active Directory was Microsoft’s first true directory offering, many application vendors attempted to integrate their products into it, only to find there were a lot of issues from both technology and political perspectives. We’ll now discuss some of these challenges.

The Application Integration Challenge

While trying to use Active Directory as both a NOS and application directory can initially reap significant rewards from reduced total cost of ownership, it also presents several challenges as well. In fact, many of the features that make Active Directory a great NOS directory (a repository of user, group, and computer accounts) also make integrating applications much more difficult.

Challenges for application vendors

Many of the challenges for application vendors are related more to incompatibilities with integrating with the NOS than directly to insufficiencies with Active Directory. In fact, Active Directory could be used as a pure application directory with few differences from what you would see using a SunONE or OpenLDAP directory server. But that is not how Active Directory is typically being used in the enterprise. In fact, most organizations are still trying to balance the effects of maintaining a stable NOS environment that has consistent reliability and response times with an application directory that could impact the end-user experience ...

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