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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

A metadirectory adds interoperability to directory services by serving as a single point of access to multiple directory services. The metadirectory allows different directory services to exchange information, or it provides a form of middleware that allows applications to access different directories using a consolidated view of those directories.

Directories contain elements that describe objects in the real world, such as computers, folders, objects, managed resources, and even people. These elements have names and, like the fields in a database, changing values. For example, one directory might store a person's last name as an element called "lastname." Another might store the same information in an element called "surname." A metadirectory provides a way to either join or view these differently named elements as the same thing, using one of these techniques:

  • Merge the two directories into a new metadirectory where lastname and surname are merged into a single element.

  • View the two directories as they are (without merging them into a new directory), but view the two differently named elements as the same element.

The join aspect of metadirectories goes beyond directories that have similar elements with different names. Consider a user who has multiple identities on a network, such as their logon name and e-mail name. A metadirectory can help to resolve these differences as well.

See "Directory Services" and "Metadata."

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.