The CTDP Directory and Naming Services Guide Version 0.2.0 February 25, 2001


This section is under construction and this document is not yet complete!

Directory services provide an ability for users to search for files and information. Usually there is some ability to filter the contents to be returned. Naming services map objects with names.

Existing Services

  • DNS - Domain Name Services
  • NIS - Network Information System
  • WINS - Windows Internet Name Service
  • LDAP - Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
  • COS - Common Object Services
  • NDS - Novell Directory Services
  • Active Directory - Windows NT technology along with DNS and LDAP are merged to form the Windows 2000 Server directory services.

Naming services store references to objects. For example an address book stores a list of addresses. The addresses are references to physical locations where buildings are located. The actual building is not stored in the address book. Some naming services store IP addresses (addresses of specific computers on a network) in a database. WINS and DNS store IP addresses. These services are used to cross reference the name of computers with their address.


In many cases, it might be assumed that these naming services are in competition with one another. This is not generally the case. For instance, LDAP is not be used to compete with nor replace DNS but can be used to supplement DNS.

Directory Services

Directory services are simple databases. These databases may reside on multiple computers. These services may allow users to locate services by using the following functions.

  • Search - Resources are located based on search criteria set by the user.
  • Filter - Allows some items to be filtered out and not returned to the user.

Directory services provide information about resources or objects and any tools used to find them.

Naming Services

Naming services map objects with names.

Naming and Directory Service Combinations

Many products provide both naming service and directory service functionality in one package.

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