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Newbie Question: Programming Concepts Guide?


since a while I try to play abit around with the openldap-lib.
Unfortunately I couldnt find documentation, which describes 
the concepts of using the openldap-lib. Sure, there are alot
of man-pages, which describe each function pretty good, but
there are some information "above" which I have missed.

I mean things like a general design and stuff, an overview how
to deal with the complicated functions to make simple operations

So I will ask some (maybe silly) questions below:

I want to check if a treenode exists:
What to do? There are lots of ldap_search functions with lots 
of arguments. But I have to read through the whole rfc-draft, 
and after reading I forgot the beginning ;-)
So what I have to do, if I simply want to look for a treenode?
( It would be cool to see much more simpler functions.
  like [bool ldap_exist("cn=acme,o=foo,c=bar")] )
  The same for a simple reading/writing function:
  [bool ldap_write("cn=acme,o=foo,c=bar",attribute2,value)] )

Thanks for comments,