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What is NDS eDirectory?

Articles and Tips: article

Nancy McLain

01 Mar 2000

Novell Directory Service eDirectory was previously referred to as NDS v8. "V8" is the version of NDS that contains NDS eDirectory. NDS eDirectory extends the directory to provide enhancements for the Internet, extranet, and enterprise markets. It provides more scalability, performance, LightWeight Directory Access Protocol v3 (LDAP), and easier management through such utilities as ConsoleOne.

NDS eDirectory enhances Novell Directory Services in the following areas:

  • Increased performance for directory reads, writes, and searches

  • Enhanced directory scalability

  • ConsoleOne Management

  • Native support for LDAP v3 functionality

  • LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) support for adding, modifying, and deleting directory objects

  • Extended DNS naming support

  • Schema extensions and enhancements

Currently, NDS eDirectory is available on NetWare 5 and NT. It will also be available on Solaris and Linux later this year.

NDS eDirectory allows businesses to grow and take advantage of the Internet without worrying about the directory infrastructure. All of the NDS enhancements have been designed to take advantage of the Internet.


NDS eDirectory supports 200 LDAP v3 reads per second and speeds up the searches by using indexes.


With NDS eDirectory you can have billions of objects per tree, millions of objects per server, and hundreds of thousands of objects per container. At Brainshare 1999, Novell demonstrated a working tree with one billion objects.

ConsoleOne Management

You can use the ConsoleOne utility to manage NDS eDirectory. ConsoleOne is an ISV-extensible environment. The ConsoleOne utility that contains enhancements for eDirectory runs only on a client workstation. The enhanced ConsoleOne has improved performance and supports NDS eDirectory's scalability, performance, and LDAP v3. It also has the following new features:

  • Enhanced searching. You can visually construct a complex search query.

  • Multiple Object Details. You can select multiple objects of the same type and can modify them all at once.

  • Simplified Rights Management. A new interface to rights management makes your setting and modifying of rights simpler.

  • Complete Attribute Editing. You can modify all attributes of any NDS objects without any new snap-ins.

  • Universal Object Creation. You can create any NDS object without any new snap-ins.

Native Support for LDAP v3 Functionality

NDS eDirectory natively supports all features of the LDAP v3 specification, including the advanced features of auxiliary classes, referrals, and controls. NDS eDirectory implements these functions as a native NDS protocol, and not a gateway. This means that LDAP applications can transparently browse, read, and update information in NDS eDirectory just as if it were any other LDAP v3-compliant directory.

LDIF (LightWeight Directory Interchange Format) Support

LDIF is a file format that describes directory information or modifications made to directory information. An LDIF file consists of a series of records separated by line separators. These file formats are typically used to import and export directory information between LDAP-based directory servers or to describe a set of changes to be applied to a directory. (A record is a sequence of lines that describes a set of directory entries or a set of changes to be applied to directory changes. It only contains either directory entries or directory changes, but not both.)

A common data interchange format allows you to export a copy of a directory server's contents to a file, move that file to a different server, and import the contents into a separate directory. This well-defined interchange format allows developers to use scripting languages such as Perl to write simple tools that can convert a directory server's database into LDIF, regardless of the internal database representation that directory server uses.

Extended DNS naming support

NDS eDirectory fully supports the LDAP v3 Request For Comments (RFCs) that describe the interaction between X.500 and DNS naming. An RFC is a paper that describes proposed standards and request comments on those standards from the development community.

Schema Extensions and Enhancements

NDS eDirectory supports auxiliary classes, a new domain container class, and a new super calls, such as ndsLoginProperies. These changes make the NDS schema conform to the LDAP schema. The LDAP v3 standard defines auxiliary classes. The RFCs for the LDAP DNS naming support describe the domain container class. The ndsLoginProperties support LDAP login features that allow objects such as Organization, Organizational Unit, and Organizational Person to log in to the tree.

For more information about NDS eDirectory's schema enhancements, see Judy Wilson's and Brian Jarvis' article, "Schema Enhancements for NDS 8" in the June 1999 issue of Novell Developer Notes

NDS eDirectory provides several enhancements to the previous version of NDS and allows more seamless integration with the Internet and intranets. Its native support of LDAP v3 means more seamless integration with Internet applications.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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