LDAP: characters that are permitted in attribute names (descriptors)


Attribute types are object identifiers, and attribute names are known as “descriptors” (short names to assist humans). The only characters that are permitted in attribute names are ALPHA, DIGIT, and HYPHEN (‘-’). Underscores ‘_’ are not permitted. When an unambiguous descriptor (attribute name) is not available, LDAP clients should use the numeric OID. When descriptors are treated as ambiguous, LDAP servers should treat them as unrecognized.

things to remember

  • attribute names are called ‘descriptors’
  • only A-Z, a-z, 0-9, and hyphen ‘-’ can be used in a descriptor, and the descriptor must begin with an ALPHA character
  • the characters in attribute names are not case-sensitive
  • commonName is a valid descriptor
  • common_name is not a valid descriptor
  • common-name is a valid descriptor
  • 2sexyForMyShoes is not a valid descriptor

references

About Terry Gardner

Terry Gardner was a leading directory services architect with experience with many large scale directory services installations and messaging server installations, and was a Subject Matter Expert in the field of Directory Services and Solaris (operating system) performance. Mr. Gardner also participated in the open-source software community. Mr. Gardner passed away in December, 2013.
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