Why Use Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services?

Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) has both functional benefits and operational benefits for developers who create or adapt directory-enabled applications.

Functional Benefits of AD LDS

Developers using AD LDS have access to the following functional benefits:

  • AD LDS uses the same directory service technology as Active Directory. This means there is a common framework for both the network operating system (NOS) services of Active Directory and the application services of AD LDS.
  • Use of the same directory service technology increases reusability of design and code between Active Directory and AD LDS.
  • AD LDS increases the scalability of directory services by separating the NOS services from the application services.
  • Multiple instances of AD LDS, each designed for a specific application, can run on a single AD LDS installation.
  • Each AD LDS configuration set has a separate schema, independent of the Active Directory schema.
  • AD LDS can use X.500-style naming contexts, such as O=Fabrikam and C=US.
  • To increase application security, AD LDS can use Windows security principals for authentication and access control.
  • Development for AD LDS can occur on Professional, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate SKUs as well as on the Windows Server operating systems.

Operational Benefits of AD LDS

Developers using AD LDS have access to the following operational benefits:

  • AD LDS is easy to deploy. Installation and setup are simple.
  • AD LDS can be installed without affecting Active Directory.
  • AD LDS can be reinstalled or restarted without a restart.
  • AD LDS uses the same administrative model as Active Directory.
  • AD LDS increases reliability by separating application directory services from NOS directory services.