Active Directory

What is Active Directory?

Active Directory (AD) is a directory service developed by Microsoft for Windows domain networks.

It is included in most Windows Server operating systems as a set of processes and services.

Initially, Active Directory was used only for centralized domain management. However, Active Directory eventually became an umbrella title for a broad range of directory-based identity-related services.

A server running the Active Directory Domain Service (AD DS) role is called a domain controller. It authenticates and authorizes all users and computers in a Windows domain type network, assigning and enforcing security policies for all computers, and installing or updating software.

For example, when a user logs into a computer that is part of a Windows domain, Active Directory checks the submitted username and password and determines whether the user is a system administrator or normal user.

An Active Directory can also be used to provide seamless single sign-on capabilities for users to web applications such as MIDAS.

Active Directory uses Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

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