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Directory Services APIs

.NET 2.0 has many new classes to access the Active Directory and other directory services.

The new namespace System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory offers classes to control and manage the Active Directory.

System.DirectoryServices.Protocols offers classes to access directory services with the Web service interface DSML. Windows Server 2003 R2 will offer this Web service interface, with older editions DSML Services for Windows can be installed.



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Andrey Skvortsov

Why AD not just die,Longhorn WinFS(oql/sql/xml) based infrastucture is much more convenient,flexible in use and lightweight too. Who are using AD services in internet/intranet web apps this days?But that's the future-not legacy apps.Remember talks about highly distributed architecture?Where AD fits in SOA world with her corporate/private paradigm?XML now everywhere so why to teach old dog new tricks,just to create more bloated framework?

Raj Sharma

Hi Christian, do you have any code samples to hand that demonstrate the use of this new namespace ? I tried using the namespace briefly but was scuppered due to the lack of documentation currently available (suppose we can only expect this given that its only in beta). Thanks Raj Sharma http://rajsharma109.squarespace.com/


I have some Intranet vbscript/ASP pages that query a W2K AD and allow our HelpDesk to post changes (this uses Windows Authentication and NTFS on the change page which runs as an Anonymous account with rights to change AD). I'm in the process of trying to move them to ASP.NET using the VS2005 beta with .NET 2.0, but I'm finding the conversion of the AD queries to VB a bit hard - I haven't had much chance to look into DSML (only just picked up on it from this blog) but am I better off using DSML or should I code the pages with System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory? Or am I totally off-track? And what is the current best practice for writing to AD from ASP.NET - I've always felt that my kludge was a bit insecure!


You can find some samples in the MSDN Library (Visual Studio 2005 Beta version): Visual Studio | Samples | Directory Services Samples


Andrey, DSML has a very good place in the SOA world. DSML is a OASIS standard [http://www.oasis-open.org/committees/dsml] for a Web services interface to access directory services. XML is now everywhere ;-)


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