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Directory

A directory is a network service which lists participants in the network -- users, computers, printers, groups, etc. It is intended to be a convenient and robust mechanism for publishing and consuming information about these participants, so that this data can be shared by multiple systems and applications.

Directories often store credentials such as passwords or PKI certificates. This allows directories to be used to authenticate users.

Directories may also store entitlements such as membership of users in security groups. This allows directories to be used to authorization users.

Directories are often accessed using a standard network protocol, most commonly LDAP.

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