Searching for the Best LDAP Browsers - Page 2

 By Hallett German
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Browsers and More Browsers
Most available LDAP browsers assume that you are fairly computer savvy and have a working knowledge of LDAP search syntax. A few browsers have a more limited feature set, or are considered particularly easy to use. Note that your opinion may vary about whether or not a certain browser is appropriate for typical or power users. As Stuart Smalley usually says, "And that's OK."

Note" Information on obtaining all the browser tools discussed in the article is located in the reference section.

Maxware Directory Explorer is a commercial product available from a company headquartered in Norway. The older version, 3.0 is available as a free download. The latest version (4.0) costs $9.95, and offers additional capabilities such as configurable, sort-able columns, and an enable/disable LDAP administration capability.

“Maxware 3.0 has a limited feature set and is aimed at a beginning audience, 4.0 with its enhanced functionality will appeal to the intermediate user who is looking for an integrated product.”

To access a directory, double-click the Maxware Directory Explorer icon in Windows Explorer. Then, double-click the "add directory server" icon to add a new LDAP directory. If the directory has already been added, then right-click the directory icon to access it. Select the "Find" choice or you can also open the directory and do a find at any directory tree level. Alternatively, you can use the "Browse" button in the "Find Menu" to do the same thing. Under the "Search For" field, pull down the desired attribute name. Enter the value to match under "Desired Value." Then click "Find Now". On the Advanced tab, change the size and time limit if needed.

The results will appear below the "Find" menu. To see all attributes of the record, double-click on the desired object. Maxware has a useful feature for copying attributes. By going to the "General" tab of a record, highlighting an attribute and selecting the Copy button on the bottom of the screen, it will place the value in the Windows Clipboard. Maxware Directory Explorer will also display Photos and digital certificates associated with a record.

The 4.0 version includes enhanced search capabilities, Office XP integration, a fully configurable browser for your company directory, and the able to enable/disable directory administration. Maxware also sells a Virtual Directory that works well with Directory Explorer. The Maxware folks are available to customize the browser for your environment, such as adding splash screens, specifying which attributes to display, and so on.

Maxware 3.0 has a limited feature set and is aimed at a beginning audience, 4.0 with its enhanced functionality will appeal to the intermediate user who is looking for an integrated product.

Cygsoft LDAP Browser
India's Cygsoft's main product is IP Management software, but they also sell a useful LDAP browser designed for users at all levels. LDAP Browser 2.0 is available for a 15-day trial and costs $24.95 if you decide to keep it.

Double-click on the "Tree" icon to start the LDAP Browser. Once the browser appears, select the "Connect" "New Connection" menu option to configure your connection to your LDAP directory. Once configured, select the "Connect" "Login" menu option to bind to the directory. Select your desired profile, user details, LDAP version, and enter password if required. The product allows anonymous logins as well. Progress messages will appear in the connect box during the connection.

Do any of the following for searching, Right-click at the desired directory level and select LDAP search, or under the "Tools" Menu select LDAP Search. What follows is a combination of a canned and ad-hoc query.

A screen appears that allows you to pull-down the desired objectclass (default of all), and create up to three search filters. These search filters include pull-down attribute names, choose any or all of the attributes (equivalent of LDAP OR/AND operators)and an attribute value with wildcards. The only condition for the three search filters is "equals". Click on the search button to start the search.

The search results are on the left and complete record details on the right of the window. Other menu options include counting the number of entries, LDAP user administration, Set number of entries to view, Export to LDIF, General and LDIF Logs, XML Rendering to administration templates, schema manager, and much more.

Cygsoft is designed for the beginning to intermediate user, but it does have some features that will appeal to the guru. The product works best with Novell NDS, SunOne/Iplanet Directory Server, and Open LDAP, but there is limited support for Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange server. Check out their Feature List document for more details on directory capability. This is a good overall directory product. We hope that the product continues to be enhanced in future releases.

Continued on Page 3: More Browsers

This article was originally published on Apr 1, 2004
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