Active Directory Basics – Part 2

                                    Active Director Basics – Part 2



Engineers have to understand the major components of active directory with which their life becomes pretty easy. In the upper layer AD is very simple , but when you actually start deploying it or start troubleshooting it , you might find you are lost ! , but when you understand the core components you know where to look in exactly.

I would say Active directory heart is nothing but Data Store , because data store acts as an interface between the schema and the physical directory. It has a two way communication happening between the physical directory and the Schema.



This data store resides on every domain controller in the forest .There is an internal representation of the Data store , in other words, data store consists of sub components communicating with each other.


Simplified Explanation:

In very simplest form to understand the data store , it acts as an firewall which performs allows or denies for the applications. Data store does the same job


–It provides a way for applications to communicate to database.

–It provides a way to filter the communications



Data store is nothing but a collection of interfaces which are used to provide 2 major tasks for applications / clients


a)       Provide interface to communicate to Data store

b)       Provide Access to the physical database using Data store interfaces

c)       Filters the application calls made to the database for data retrieval or data commit



Interfaces In Data Store:


LDAP interface


SAM interface


ESE interface


Replication interface


DSA interface





Did You Know:


DSA (Directory system agent) is the one which does schema related activities. DSA performs the following


a)       Enforce the rules

b)       Checks the schema

c)       Enforce datatypes on attributes.



Example :


Application à Data store à database


Lower View


Application à Uses LDAP à Use DSA for access to Directory à Filters necessary API calls à ESE which communicates directly to database à Physical database.


From the above example you can now have a clear understanding of the data flow


Hope you have enjoyed this article, look for the next session








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