Home / Index Page

Showing posts with label schema. Show all posts
Showing posts with label schema. Show all posts

DAY 4 : Directory Service

What is Directory Service ?

A directory service is a software application — or a set of applications — that stores and organizes information about a computer network's users and network shares, and that allows network administrators to manage users' access to the shares. Additionally, directory services act as an abstraction layer between users and shared resources.
A directory service should not be confused with the directory itself, which is the database that holds the information about objects that are to be managed by the directory service. The directory service is the interface to the directory and provides access to the data that is contained in that directory. It acts as a central authority that can securely authenticate resources and manage identities and relationships between them.
A directory service is highly optimized for reads and provides advanced search on the many different attributes that can be associated with objects in a directory. The data that is stored in the directory is defined by an extendible and modifiable schema. Directory services use a distributed model for storing their information and that information is usually replicated between directory servers. [1]
A directory service maps the names of network resources to their respective network addresses. The user doesn't have to remember the physical address of a network resource; providing a name helps locate the resource. Each resource on the network is considered as an object on the directory server. Information about a particular resource is stored as attributes of that object. Information within objects can be made secure so that only users with the available permissions are able to access it.
A directory service defines the namespace for the network. A namespace is a set of rules that determine how network resources are named and identified. The rules specify that the names be unique and unambiguous. In LDAP the name is called the distinguished name (DN) and is used to refer to a collection of attributes which make up a directory entry.
Directory service is a tool for locating, managing, administrating, and organizing network resources, which can include volumes, folders, files, printers, users, groups, and other objects. A directory service is a center component of NOS (Network Operating System) and it has functions much like phone book. For example, if you look up “computers,” you will find a list of available computers and information for accessing them, however, for a directory service to function like a network phone book, it must be combined with a matching entity, the directory database. Examples of directory services produced by different vendors and standards bodies include the following: Windows NT Directory Services (NTDS) for Windows NT Active Directory for Windows 2000 Novell Directory Servies (NDS) for Novell NetWare version 4.x



Comparison with relational databases

There are a number of things that distinguishes a directory service from a relational database
  • In a directory, the information is generally read more often than it is written. Hence the usual database features of transactions and rollback are not implemented in a directory. Data may be made redundant, but the objective is to get a faster response time during searches.
  • Data is organized in a strictly hierarchical manner. In terms of cardinality, directories do not have many-to-many relations. Instead, such relations must be maintained explicitly using lists of distinguished names.
  • Attributes are defined as stand-alone schema entities. That is: they exist without being part of an object and have a fixed type.
  • An objectClass has:
    • Must-attributes that each of its instances must have
    • May-attributes that can be defined for an instance, but could also be omitted when the object is created. The lack of a certain attribute is somewhat like a NULL in relational databases
  • Attributes are often multi-valued in directories whereas this is seen in relational database design as a denormalized state of the database schema.
  • Attributes and objectClasses are standardized throughout the industry and formally registered with the IANA for their object ID. Therefore directory applications seek to reuse much of the standard classes and attributes to maximize the benefit of existing directory server software.
  • Object instances are slotted into namespaces. That is, each objectClass inherits from its parent objectClass (and ultimately from the root of the hierarchy) adding attributes to the must/may list.
  • Directory services are often a central component in the security design of an IT system and have a correspondingly fine granularity regarding access control: who may operate in which manner on what information. Also see: ACLs
Directory design, compared to relational databases, therefore feels much more like customizing an industry-standard rather than a conceptualization of a real-life situation. Different rules apply regarding data modeling and the access scenarios are different.

Implementations of Directory Services

Directory services were part of an Open Systems Interconnect (OSI) initiative to get everyone in the industry to agree to common network standards to provide multi-vendor interoperability. In the 1980s the ITU and ISO came up with a set of standards - X.500, for directory services, initially to support the requirements of inter-carrier electronic messaging and network name lookup. The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, LDAP, is based on the services of X.500, but uses the TCP/IP stack, giving it more relevance on the Internet.
There have been numerous forms of directory service implementations from different vendors. Among them are:
  • NIS: The Network Information Service (NIS) protocol, originally named Yellow Pages (YP) was Sun Microsystems implementation of a directory service for Unix network environments. (Sun has, in the early 2000s, merged its iPlanet alliance Netscape and developed its LDAP-based directory service to become part of Sun ONE, now called Sun Java Enterprise.)
  • eDirectory: This is Novell's implementation of directory services. It supports multiple architectures including Windows, Netware, Linux and several flavours of Unix and has long been used for user administration, configuration management, and software management. eDirectory has evolved into a central component in a broader range of Identity management products. It was previously known as Novell Directory Services.
  • Red Hat Directory Server: Red Hat released the directory service that it acquired from Netscape Security Solutions as a commercial product running on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux called Red Hat Directory Server and as part of Fedora Core called Fedora Directory Server.
  • Active Directory: Microsoft's directory service is the Active Directory which is included in the Windows 2000 and Windows Server 2003 operating system versions.
  • Open Directory: Apple's Mac OS X Server offers a directory service called Open Directory which integrates with many open standard protocols such as LDAP and Kerberos as well as proprietary directory solutions like Active Directory and eDirectory.
  • Apache Directory Server: Apache Software Foundation offers a directory service called ApacheDS.
  • Oracle Internet Directory: (OID) is Oracle's directory service, which is compatible with LDAP version 3.

There are also plenty of open-source tools to create directory services, including OpenLDAP and the Kerberos (protocol), and Samba software which can act as a Domain Controller with Kerberos and LDAP backends


What is Database?

A database is a collection of information organized into interrelated tables of data and specifications of data objects. Databases are designed to offer an organized mechanism for storing, managing and retrieving information. They do so through the use of tables. Database tables consist of columns and rows. Each column contains a different type of attribute and each row corresponds to a single record. For example, imagine that we were building a database table that contained Student_id, Name, Program_id, City, Division and Country.

Then we have simply start adding rows underneath those columns that contained the data we were planning to store. See the below schema and data table as per above discussion. This example will clear your concept of the relation between schema and data tables.

Entity/Field Name

                                                            Schema: 1

The above schema explains that the student_id must be number data type and it will take up to 10 (ten) digit. So, greater then or equal to 11 (eleven) digit numeric value will not accept as a Student_id.  The Name field will accept maximum 30 (thirty) character. And all the remaining entity will follow rules as shown in the Data-Type Column in the above schema. Schema represents the physical infrastructure of a database table where we may keep our necessary data.

Data Table:

                                                            Table: 1

The above table contains some sample data. We may easily understand that the all the data kept in above table are interrelated. The data belongs to students of an Institute. We may easily understand and get some information of a particular student by examining the records. Click here to see more examples of Insert Command, which will help to you learn of insert/store Value to a table.

What is Table?

A table in a relational database is a predefined format of rows and columns that define an entity. Database tables are composed of individual columns corresponding to the attributes of the object. A database may consist of many tables. In the above schema, student is an object. Student_id, name and etc are the entity. Entities are represents in column wise.  All the values of the entity are represents row wise as like above Data-Table. So, we may say finally that table is used to keep the records.

What is Record?

A database record consists of one set of tuples (variable/entity) for a given relational table. In a relational database, records correspond to rows in each table. In a relational database, a row consists of one set of attributes (or one tuple) corresponding to one instance of the entity that a table schema describes. The Schema 1 describes the tuples of student table and the table 1 shows the data of student table which correspondence the record of each student. Each record at table 1 illustrates row wise. In simply, a collection of fields is called a record.

What is Object?

A single data item related to a database object. The database schema associates one or more attributes with each database entity.

What is Field?

In database systems, fields are the smallest units of information you can access. In spreadsheets, fields are called cells. In database management systems, a field can be required, optional, or calculated. A required field is one in which you must enter data, while an optional field is one you may leave blank. A calculated field is one whose value is derived from some formula involving other fields. You do not enter data into a calculated field; the system automatically determines the correct value.

What is Attribute?

In database management systems, the term attribute is sometimes used as a synonym for field. In database systems, a field can have various attributes. For example, if it contains numeric data, it has the numeric attribute. Most fields have certain attributes associated with them. For example, some fields are numeric whereas others are textual, some are long, while others are short. In addition, every field has a name, called the field name.

What is data?

Data is a distinct piece of information, usually formatted in a special way. All software is divided into two general categories: data and programs. In Table 1, “200819222” is found in a row (cell). It is actually data. It indicates that is an Id of a student.

What is data files ?

In database management systems, data files are the files that store the database information, whereas other files, such as index files and data dictionaries, store administrative information, known as metadata.

Now, let us concentration on the  parts of SQL, which will be path of understanding SQL commands. Click Here to Visit Day-2 for these.

Popular Posts