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Re: Producing a web directory with LDAP

>Firstly let me say that i'm new to this list and new to LDAP. However 
>i'm looking for a flat file solution (or non-RDBMS) to produce a web 
>directory and am prepared to put in some learning curve in order to 
>be in an appropriate format.
>Firstly, could I be looking in the right place with LDAP? Would you 
>have any other suggestions to build something like this?....

It would see LDAP is exactly what your looking for.

>The reason why I am looking at LDAP is because SQL tables can't build 
>the hierarchical structure of a directory easily. I think I need a 
>un-relational solution, with greater speed and flexibility.

Yes, LDAP data is *NOT* relational.

>I'm looking to build a web directory that can sit on one main server 
>with localized replicas in other countries. At the moment I am 
>imagining running this off either Linux or OS X boxes.

Replication works very well with OpenLDAP.  I replicate to servers of 
VPNs, no problem.

>I have some relational data that is based on the directory. In some 
>articles online it claims that LDAP can't handle relational data, or 

It can't

>that it's simply not tailored for updating data on the fly. Can you 

Not neccesarily true.  It isn't build to sustains constant modification 
like an RDBMS,  it isn't really transactional.  But operations are atomic, 
and thus perfectly safe if performed correctly.  (Despite much blather 
you'll read here and elsewhere about LDAP locking, etc..)  You can update 
the directory on-the-fly without incident.  Updates are "slow", that is 
the key fact.  A ratio of thousands of reads to every write is pretty much 

>suggest ways of handling various relational bits of data, for one 
>example, hit-counters? Or any data that needs to be updated 
>regularly? (None of the data needs to be accurate to the second or is 
>time sensitive)

Depends on what you mean by regularly.  If you mean constantly, then store 
it outside the Dit, and just point to it with a URL/UNC from a stand-in 
object.  Or use back-sql to present data that just has to come from a 
relational source.

>The content should be more than a few million entries and I need fast 
>and flexible multiple field searching.

Index correctly, have enough RAM, and your good to go.

>Can anyone suggest whether LDAP is firstly capable of the above and 
>secondly the the correct format for holding/searching such 
>information in such quantity?

Yes, and Yes.

>Can it be easily integrated into other networks/systems?

Pretty much the whole point of LDAP.  Everything supports it, and what 
doesn't, will tomorrow.

>What is your suggestion for the ideal middle-ware for use with LDAP?

? Cocoon supports it if that type of thins is what you mean.

>Should I use OpenLDAP Server or use the built in LDAPv3 in OS 10.2?

Never used OS X.

>Know of any examples of LDAP on the web I could look at?


All based on the things we use it for here.  There are lots of LDAP apps 
on www.freshmeat.net

>Is the learning curve steep?

It can be, depends on what you want to do, how far your going to push it.