A Directory Service is a software application that stores and organizes information about the network users and resources. The Directory Service allows the network administrators to manage the user’s access to the resources. The Directory acts as a central point of control and management of the network operating system.
Main advantages of Directory Services are
Directory Services help in Simplifying management: By acting as a single point of management, a directory can ease the administrative tasks associated with complex networks.
Directory Services provide higher level of security. Directories offer a single logon facility and they provide more secure authentication process.
Directory Services allow interoperability: Most of Directory Services available today are based upon industry standards like X.500, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) etc. This allows sharing of resources in a heterogeneous environment.
Directory Services software application store data in its own database. Following are the important data which are kept in Directory Services database.
• User Account Information (Login name, Password, Restrictions).
• User Personal Information (Phone number, Address, Employee ID).
• Peripheral Configuration Information (Printers, Modem, Fax).
• Application Configuration (Desktop Preference, Default Directories).
• Security Information.
• Network Structure.
• Network Infrastructure Configuration.