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LillyDAP additional utilities

The utilities of LillyDAP are not required for general processing of LDAP messages, but may help out with them. Usually, they will implement one or a few operations.

The utilities are add-on libraries or library archives that can be helpful to the application programmer, and avoid repeating work that is not related to the data manipulation content of the applications.

Memory Management

The LillyMem API assumes certain things about the context in which LillyDAP is run; a number of memory management routines must be registered. There are a few default implementations that are not efficient, not clever and not advised at all -- but that may be useful in the early stages of development, and that only assume a POSIX environment.

This silly implementation of the environment is called SillyMem. It is not part of the normal utilities set, but may be linked separately. Do not rely on this if efficiency or scalability are among your concerns.

TLS Utilities


These utilities implement the StartTLS operation, in the service of encryption and possibly authentication. One implementation works by passing control over the TLS Pool, and harvest the remote identity as an authenticated identity.

Authentication Utilities


These utilities help with the Bind and Unbind operations. Versions for the client and server side exist. There is no support for Simple authantication, but SASL is supported.

There are various choices of implementation for SASL in general. There is an implementation that invokes a SASL library, one that relays to individual SASL mechanism utilities, and then there are utilities that steer towards a single SASL mechanism such as GSSAPI and Kerberos5. There also is support for SASL EXTERNAL, based on prior authentication with TLS.

An implementation of the WhoAmI operation is also included in the utilities.

Authorisation Utilities


There is an option in LDAP to authorise a user identity after authentication, based on the control for Proxied Authorization that may be supplied with each and every operation, including even the WhoAmI operation.

Utility Support for InternetWide / ARPA2


The utilities described above integrate well with the ARPA2 projects, making this fit in with the InternetWide Architecture, in the following ways:

  • The TLS Pool support means that advanced mechanisms such as TLS-KDH can be used; this introduces the facilities for realm crossover for Kerberos.
  • SASL is used as a second (and more broadly implemented) opportunity for Kerberos authentication, again with the intention of integrating with realm crossover.
  • SASL can alternatively be used with the EXTERNAL mechanism to drop privileges to an identity that may be more suited to use while accessing LDAP-published data services; for instance, an alias or a group member's name.
  • LDAP supports Proxied Authorization which enables bulk services after a proxy that handles authentication and authorisation. This is one of the design purposes of LillyDAP.

Support for ARPA2 projects is important, because LDAP is vital to the Global Directory including Reservoir component, as a metadata storage facilitie. Especially the Input and Output Queues can have a tendency to change much faster than storage-centric LDAP solutions assume.

The general idea of the Global Directory and the Reservoir can therefore distribute LDAP queries to different services, while making it look like one integrated tree under a domain name.