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From Ole Ersoy <>
Subject Re: [Attributes manipulation] How to manipulate attributes inside the server
Date Mon, 19 Mar 2007 23:15:42 GMT
Dang Man - What happen to short little digestible pieces of information 
in each email?

Can you please rewrite this in a few short summaries?

Just kidding   :-)

I'm getting a sense that this is going to be somewhat important for the
LDAP DAS, so I'll review it a few times.  Since I'm reading it carefully 
I might as well try to structure it more.

So if you feel like being lazy a little longer, I'll try to get it in a 
nice html document.

- Ole

Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
> Hi,
> We have some serious issues in the server with Attributes 
> manipulation. This mail is intended to avoid as much as possible 
> potential breakage and bugs, by giving explicit rules of thumb about 
> the way we should handle attributes.
> First, we will focusing on ADS 1.5, because ADS 1.0.1 is already out.
> Second, this mail applies only to in-server attribute manipulations, 
> and does not cover clients or tests.
> Ok, now, let's get deep into the, well, mud.
> 1) Introduction, terminology
> We have implemented Attribute and Attributes, which are 
> interfaces 
> ( 
> and 
> The associated classes in the server are :
> and
> An Attributes can contain many Attribute. Each Attribute contains a 
> key (the attribute type) and many values.
> As we are in the Ldap World, the Attributes are associated with an Entry.
> 2) Attribute types
> Each Attribute has a key which is unique within an Attributes (Entry). 
> This key is *case insensitive*. It means that "cn" is equivalent to 
> "CN" or "Cn".
> ---> First rule : _always use a lowercased attribute name_
> This key is not necessarily the best key to identify an attribute. 
> Internally, we should *always* use the associated OID (we have a 
> relation between an OID and an attribute type : An attributeType 
> *always* has a unique OID, when an OID can be associated with more 
> than one attributeType)
> --> Second rule : _when possible, use the OID instead of any other 
> textual name_
> What does it mean, in the real world ? Simply, use the OID.
> 3) Potential problems
> The user don't want to receive OIDs when he launch a search. OIDs are 
> good for serrvers, not for clients...
> Generally, a client ask for a list of attributes as a result of a 
> search. This list should be returned as it has been submitted :
> let's assume a client has asked for SURNAME, we should not return an 
> entry like, but something like SURNAME=nerd
> ---> Third rule : _return what the client is asking for, not what the 
> server is used to manipulate_
> Another problem is that we might have to find a specific value of an 
> attrib

> ute. For instance, we may look for the 'subschema' value in the 
> 'objectClass' attribute. We have MatchingRules to compare two values. 
> Let's suppose we are dealing with the objectClass attributeType : the 
> values should be compared case insensitive. PhoneNumber should be 
> compared after having remove any inner space. And so on. Each 
> attributeType is associated with an Equality Matching Rule which is to 
> be used to process comparizons. This leads to CN == cn == cN == Cn, 
> with the ObjectClass equality matching rule.
> An helper class contains two methods to help dealing with those 
> attributeTypes : AttributeUtils.
> Three methods has been written :
> - containsAnyValues( Attribute, Object[], AttributeType ) : check that 
> an attribute contains at least one of the given values
> - containsValue( Attribute, Object, AttributeType ) : check that the 
> attributes contains the given value
> - containsValueCaseIgnore( Attribute, Object ) : special case where we 
> check that the value is contained by the attribute, the case 
> sensitivity being desabled.
> For method 1 and 2, the attributeType is used to call the associated 
> comparator.
> ---> Forth rule : When comparing two attribute values, always use the 
> AttributeUtils class, and use the correct method.
> Ok, that's all for now, I hope that this little reminder will help to 
> build a better server ...
> Emmanuel
> PS: I think this mail deserves to be put into confluence, but tonite, 
> I'm too lazy ...

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