The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an application protocol for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. LDAP is defined in terms of ASN.1 and transmitted using BER. Directory services may provide any organized set of records, often with a hierarchical structure, such as a corporate electronic mail directory. Similarly, a telephone directory is a list of subscribers with an address and a phone number. LDAP is specified in a series of Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Standard Track Requests for comments (RFCs). The latest version is Version 3, published as RFC 4510. Telecommunication companies' understanding of directory requirements was well developed after some 70 years of producing and managing telephone directories. These companies introduced the concept of directory services to information technology and computer networking, their input culminating in the comprehensive X.
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