A Distinguished Name (DN) is a name that identifies an entry in a directory service uniquely. The term distinguished here refers to the fact that the DN contains the components that identify the entry’s position in the directory tree.
A DN typically consists of the relative distinguished name (RDN) of an entry, plus the RDNs of all its parent entries, concatenated and separated by commas. The RDN of an entry is the attribute of that entry that makes it unique among its siblings. For example, in the DN cn=jsmith,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com, the component cn=jsmith is the RDN of the entry jsmith, and ou=People and dc=example,dc=com are the RDNs of the entry’s parent entries.
The DN of an entry can be used to identify that entry in any operation that requires an entry’sDN as a parameter, such as when binding to a directory server or when modifying an entry’s attributes.
Advantages of Using Distinguished Name
There are a few advantages of using distinguished names:
1) Ease of use: Once you have a DN, you can use it to identify an entry in any operation that requires an entry’s DN as a parameter. This makes using DNs much easier than trying to remember or keep track of each entry’s unique identifier.
2) Flexibility: DNs are very flexible. They can be easily changed if necessary, without affecting any other entries in the directory.
3) Scalability: DNs can be easily scaled to accommodate a large number of entries in a directory.
4) Security: DNs provide a higher level of security than other methods of identification, such as using an entry’s unique identifier. This is because a DN can be encrypted, making it more difficult for someone to spoof an entry’s identity.
Disadvantages of Using Distinguished Name
There are a few disadvantages of using distinguished names:
1) Complexity: DNs can be complex, especially if you are not familiar with how they work. This can make it difficult to understand what an entry’s DN means, and how to use it properly.
2) Length: DNs can be quite long, which can make them difficult to remember or type accurately.
3) Case sensitivity: DNs are case-sensitive, which means that you must be careful to use the correct case when typing a DN. If you do not, the directory server may not be able to find the entry you are looking for.