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RE: Bdb defaults - WAS: problem importing entries.
I don't mean to keep opening this box of worms, but it just seems like the learning curve for setting up an openldap server is unnecessarily high.
When I think back to my first experiences of setting up other databases - mySQL, postgres - or even other ldap servers like Tivoli, I have been able to simply install them and toss millions of records at them, without having to do any performance tuning, reading third party manuals, or digging through the full documentation for the server itself. Like openldap, they are all very large complicated apps. But out of the box, they all worked pretty well. This just hasn't been my personal experience with openldap.
Everyone keeps saying that you have to read the manual. But what do you learn, if you read the openldap manual?
When you look at the documentation right now, as a beginner would, they would probably start with the quick start guide. It gives an example using bdb (so at this point, you probably wouldn't even know other backends exit) but it says nothing about configuring bdb with a DB_CONFIG file. It doesn't even have a link to some suggested reading for improving performance, or even mention that you should create a DB_CONFIG file.
So I go to the admin guide. There is no apparent section on tuning. One would assume it all happens in the configuration file. So I go to read that section. It is very good at explaining most things. But when you get the backend section, it simply spits out a laundry list of what exists. No recommendations as to which one to use, no details on what each one is good at or even intended for. Again, no mention what-so-ever of DB_CONFIG, or even a link to the appropriate Berkeley documentation. No example configurations. Even though people have said on the mailing list and in the FAQ that openldap doesn't provide any defaults for BerkeleyDB, and the BerkeleyDB defaults are inappropriate for openldap.
If I go on to the FAQ before I come to the mailing list there is finally a mention of DB_CONFIG, along with some reasonable documentation of the options you may want to experiment with. There is also another entry that has some details about each of the backends. But this assumes that I know what I'm looking for in the first place, which a new person probably wont know. And it still doesn't have any working copy and paste examples.
Maybe its just me. But working example configurations make a complicated system _much_ easier to learn. They tell you what parameters you may want to modify, you know exactly what keyword to search for if you want more information on something. And hopefully, the examples were set up by the experts, so they should be well configured for a purpose. If the example also states what the purpose is (be it serving a database with 10,000 entries or a million entries) at least you have a starting point.
A mention (and reasonable example) in the quick start guide and a couple of examples along with warnings, common pitfalls, and pointers to the appropriate Berkeley documentation in the admin guide would go a long way to easing the learning curve.
P.S. - this faq entry: http://www.openldap.org/faq/data/cache/756.html says that "back-bdb, back-bdb and back-ldbm are "primary" storage database backends". Is one of those supposed to be back-Hdb?