Apr 17, 2005

What is a Simple Bind

A user establishes a connection to a directory server by performing a bind operation. Part of the information that is used in performing this operation is the user's identity and password. There are three basic bind mechanisms ? anonymous, simple, or secure.

The simplest bind mechanism is an anonymous bind. Access is granted based on the user having no identity within the directory. While it is normal to provide read access to certain entries and attributes for anonymous users, most application data will be protected against retrieval by unknown users.

A simple bind operation is performed when the user provides a DN for an entry within the directory and a password that goes with that entry. The entry must have a USERPASSWORD attribute, which is checked against the password provided. If the bind is successful, the user's identity will become that DN for the duration of the connection and access to entries will be based on that identity.

While the simple bind is adequate for most environments, it requires that you send the password in clear text over the network. Some directory servers implement secure authentication methods, such as Kerberos or certificate-based authentication like SSL. Any authentication method that is used must resolve to a directory entry in order to permit a comparison with the access control list (ACL). After authentication, the ACL specifies access controls that are based on the DN for the user.

See original document at http://support.sas.com/rnd/itech/doc/ldap/ldapovew.html