SERAS – A REST API For Directory Access

NetIQ eDirectory previously owned by Novell, also known as Novell Directory Services (NDS) and sometimes referred to as NetWare Directory Services was initially released by Novell in 1993 for Netware 4. eDirectory is a full-service, secure LDAP directory providing scalability and an agile platform to run an organization’s identity infrastructure and services. It is an X.500-compatible directory service and can be accessed via the following interfaces:

  • NDAP (Novell Directory Access Protocol)
  • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)
  • DSML (Directory Services Markup Language)
  • SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
  • ODBC (Open Database Connectivity)
  • JDBC (Java Database Connectivity)
  • JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface)
  • ADSI (Active Directory Service Interface).

This is quite a number of different interfaces and hence fully covers traditional client needs, but it does not help much in today’s mobile world. Most new devices like Apple, Android and Chrome phones and tablets are designed for use with http/https protocols and nothing else.

How mobile devices and web application access data -  The Rise of the REST API

Since these new mobile devices were solely designed for http/https protocols many people were searching for methods that allow to merry the 2 universes of business applications and consumer devices. As it turns out the solution for this problem is the REST (Representational State Transfer) protocol.

REST is nothing new, it is based on pretty old scientific work, which describes some basic principles. Representational State Transfer or REST is an architectural style that sets certain constraints for designing and building large-scale distributed hypermedia systems. As an architectural style, Representational State Transfer has very broad application. The designs of both HTTP 1.1 and also URIs follow RESTful principles.

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Figure 1: REST APIs are predominant today

This article was first published in OHM Issue 38 (2017/3), p26-29.

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