I use LDAP for authentication on my LAN (I wrote one of the earliest and definitive articles available on the internet for MandrakeSecure quite a while back), but I find dealing with LDAP to be a serious PITA. It’s not the easiest thing to manage from the commandline… a GUI or web-based interface is almost required or you’ll end up ripping off facial hair.

Today I went hunting for an OS X-based client in order to manage the LDAP directory because my main desktop is an OS X machine. On the Linux side things are easy enough to find… A program called DirectoryAdministrator works remarkably well. Doing a search for “ldap” on versiontracker came up with about four entries… four! That’s disgusting! The only one that seemed close to what I needed would only let you edit mail entries… I have a lot more in my LDAP database than an address book, thank you very much.

Hunting on Google had me finding a program called LDAP Browser/Editor (written in Java tho). I’m not keen on Java to begin with, but Java apps seem to run at a decent speed on my machine… I use the Zend editor quite a bit and it’s written in Java… no Aqua niceness, but whatever. Anyways, this program rocks. It allows me to edit, add, make templates from, etc. for my LDAP database. This is exactly the tool I needed!

Just felt like sharing in case anyone else is looking for the same kind of tool. I did notice in my Googling that OS X server seems to come with a nice looking tool called Workgroup Manager… why can’t they put something like that in mainline OS X? Heck, I’d even pay a few bucks to have it as a separate app. I mean, really, how often will you log into the server in order to admin the database? The beauty of LDAP is that I can have the server tucked away and connect to it from my desktop machine and make changes to the directory without ever actually logging into the server.

On a side note, the article I saw mentioning Workgroup Manager is from the O’Reilly MacDevCenter entitled “LDAP in Mac OS X Server “. I don’t really want to pony up for OS X Server to run that tool on my desktop, but dangit, those screen shots look pretty sharp.

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