Guest access to search for DNs

In an LDAP system, users are hierarchically organized in the directory as a set of entries. An entry is a set of name-attribute pairs identified by a unique name, called a DN (distinguished name).

An entry is unambiguously identified by a DN, which is the concatenation of selected attributes from each entry in the tree along a path leading from the root down to the named entry, ordered from right to left. For example, a DN for a user might look like this:



The allowable entries for the name are defined by the entry's objectClass.

An LDAP client can bind to the directory (successfully log in) if it provides a user ID and password. The user ID must be a DN, the fully qualified list of names and attributes. This means that the user must provide a very long name.

Typically, the user knows only a simple user name (e.g., the first part of the DN above, mary). With Derby, you do not need the full DN, because an LDAP client (Derby) can go to the directory first as a guest or even an anonymous user, search for the full DN, then rebind to the directory using the full DN (and thus authenticate the user).

Derby typically initiates a search for a full DN before binding to the directory using the full DN for user authentication. Derby does not initiate a search in the following cases:

For more information, see "derby.authentication.ldap.searchFilter" in the Derby Reference Manual.

Some systems permit anonymous searches; other require a user DN and password. You can specify a user's DN and password for the search with the properties listed below. In addition, you can limit the scope of the search by specifying a filter (definition of the object class for the user) and a base (directory from which to begin the search) with the properties listed below.

To narrow the search, you can specify a user's objectClass.

See the Derby Reference Manual for details on all these properties.

Related concepts
Setting up Derby to use your LDAP directory service
LDAP performance issues
LDAP restrictions