Monday, January 28, 2008

Problems extending Active Directory Schema

Jackson Shaw blogs about still MORE issues that are arising from trying to update schemas in active directory. This is why I encourage people NOT TO TRY THIS AT HOME (or at work). It's disruptive and can have some serious effects on your network infrastructure. Use the existing schema in a virtual directory, extend the schema there. Then you don't have to worry about the issues involved here. Point the applications that need this schema extension to the virtual directory instead of AD. Most virtual directories will let you mount an existing structure (proxy) and extend the entries from various data sources (including data bases, other directories, applications or web services). Some virtual directories will even allow a join function to extend the entry from its own local store if the needed schema attributes do not currently exist. Kind of neat huh? So why all the drama? I think people just don't understand this technology - you can use your existing stores and pretty much do anything you want with them, without replication. Performance you say? Well, if it really becomes a problem, there are several caching options and cache refresh options in virtual directories also. If you don't have a virtual directory (or one that has these options) in your arsenal, get one - it will save you a lot of headaches, and a lot of time. Become the famed Engineer Mr Scott of Star Trek fame and get everything done in one third the time or less!

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