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seeking guidance with back-shell setup


my thunderbird does not appear to be using back-shell's searchexample.sh..?

i have compiled openldap on a desktop windows xp machine with the back-shell backend enabled without threads.

slapd.conf is configured as suggested in the file searchexample.conf at http://tinyurl.com/47t9ets. i have added the file searchexample.sh from http://tinyurl.com/4823rtf in the appropriate directory. i start up slapd,
/usr/local/libexec/slapd -d 256 -h ldap://localhost
and it appears to fire up:
$ /usr/local/libexec/slapd -d 256 -h ldap://localhost
@(#) $OpenLDAP: slapd 2.4.24 (Feb 14 2011 09:29:58)
WARNING: No dynamic config support for database shell.
slapd starting

i configured thunderbird with a localhost ldap directory server (localhost, port 389), leaving 'base dn' and 'bind dn' blank.

in attempting to test this searchexample.sh script, i open a new message and type an entry that i know appears in the /etc/passwd file. i see output in my cygwin window that is running slapd with lines including "BIND", "SRCH", "SEARCH RESULT", etc., but the tbird compose message window's "To:" field shows a "<LDAP server search problem>" which i click on and produces a pop-up with

"Error code 32: No such object

Verify that the Base DN is correct, and then try again, or else contact your System Administrator. To verify that the Base DN is correct, from the Edit menu, choose Preferences, then choose Mail & Newsgroups, and then choose Addressing. Click Edit Directories, and select the LDAP server being used. Click Edit to display the Base DN."

however, if i were to include 'base dn' info in tbird, slapd output reports a 'fatal error' with a stack trace.

meanwhile, the slapd output is as follows:
conn=1002 op=3 SRCH base="" scope=2 deref=0 filter="(|(cn=suzuki*)(mail=suzuki*)
conn=1002 op=3 SRCH attr=cn mail
conn=1002 op=3 SEARCH RESULT tag=101 err=32 nentries=0 text=

several questions arise:

1. should 'base dn' and/or 'bind dn' in tbird remain blank for localhost ldap?

2. aside from what is noted in searchexample.conf above, are any of the other lines necessary in slapd.conf (rootdn, index, directory -- slapd complains if directory is made available, despite the referenced file existing).

3. what else can i do to get tbird to make use of the searchexample.sh file and report as such in the slapd output?

4. in running slapd, i see the message,
"WARNING: No dynamic config support for database shell"
From this (similar) thread,
do i understand correctly that i should still be able to utilize a shell backend, then?

my current goal is the following: get slapd to run with a shell backend and thunderbird on my local desktop. our team's overall goal is to enable this setup on a linux server: we'd like to eliminate our ldap server and utilize this slapd+back-shell mechanism to access our oracle db for our ldap clients. once we are able to get this all working with back-shell, we'd like to replace the shell role with php scripts. any guidance on this task in general is greatly appreciated.

my apologies in advance for any silly questions: i am new to playing with (open)ldap, and have been staring at this problem for much too long.

thank you in advance.