LDAP be killing me. I need a good step by step

Ed Greshko Ed.Greshko at greshko.com
Wed Jan 9 14:39:08 UTC 2008

Craig White wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-01-09 at 14:16 +0000, Timothy Murphy wrote:
>> Brian Millett wrote:
>>> I have a file of names, phone numbers, etc. that has the following format
>>> that is used at my work:
>>> Name|Email|Ext.|Home #|Cellular #|Pager|Title
>>> sample data:
>>> Baker, Steve B.|sbb|15|314-215-4141|314-591-8181|| Director of Technology
>>> Bowland, Chris|cyb|33|314-835-1216||314-663-3132|Java Developer
>>> I wrote a perl script to parse this and put it into a valid ldif format:
>> Thanks for your script, which I shall study.
>> But one problem with setting up an address book in this way
>> is that there seems to be no standard LDAP format for addresses,
>> and an email client probably will not understand a particular format.
>> For example, I use kmail, which claims to understand LDAP.
>> But if you export your kmail (or kaddressbook) list in LDIF format
>> it is more of less useless for putting on an openldap server.
>> As far as I can see, the only reasonably general format for this is vCard
>> (which is more or less what kmail uses)
>> but there doesn't seem to be any standard way
>> of translating vCard to LDAP (or LDIF) format.
>> It's amazing to me that there is not a standard way
>> of putting an address book on an openldap server
>> which can be understood by all email clients
>> since this seems to be the major use of openldap.
>> But I am far from expert in this subject;
>> perhaps I have misunderstood the situation?
> ----
> On Fedora (I think, for certain on RHEL), the openldap-servers comes
> with many 'migration' scripts from padl that can take static file
> entries (/etc/passwd, /etc/shadow, /etc/group, /etc/hosts...) and
> migrate them into an LDIF which you can then import. Their scripts are
> very, very good and should be the basis for anyone looking to migrate to
> Address Book clients such as Kontact (which is what Kmail would use), or
> Thunderbird, Evolution, Outlook, etc. all have differing notions of
> which attributes LDAP should offer. Let me repeat this another
> way...THERE ARE NO STANDARDS for attributes that Address Book client
> applications will use. This can be viewed as a negative or a positive.
> Positive because you can support a variety of address book clients in a
> variety of ways. Negative because if you don't know what you're doing,
> it's confusing.
> Therefore, whatever any program exports as an LDIF will differ from each
> other program and it's up to the 'administrator' to do find/replace for
> the attributes that they intend to use on the LDAP server...the only
> other way is the Microsoft way which is prescribed. Once you absorb the
> methodology, it becomes clear that the Microsoft way is limiting.

Funny....  I knew that Ric's extremely general question was going to fan out 
to be much more than he thought he was asking......

I'd dump all that I know about ldap here....but it would take me too long to 
type it all and maybe never answer the question that Ric thinks he is 
asking.  :-)

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