Programming with .NET

Programming with .NET


You want to programmatically access Active Directory using the .NET Framework.


The System.DirectoryServices namespace can be used to interface with Active Directory using the .NET Framework. The following code is a simple VB.NET program that prints the attributes of the RootDSE:

	Imports System.DirectoryServices

	Module Module1

	    Sub Main( )

	        Dim objRootDSE As New  

	        Dim strAttrName As String
	        Dim objValue As Object

	        For Each strAttrName In objRootDSE.Properties.PropertyNames
	            For Each objValue In objRootDSE.Properties(strAttrName)
	                Console.WriteLine(strAttrName & " : " & objValue.ToString)
	            Next objValue
	        Next strAttrName

	    End Sub

	End Module


The System.DirectoryServices namespace is a generic directory service interface that is works with ADSI to provide a rich set of properties and methods for accessing, querying, and manipulating objects in Active Directory. Currently, there is no native support for scripting languages such as VBScript and Perl, but you can use Microsoft's version of JavaScript (i.e., JScript) with .NET to utilize System.DirectoryServices.

The System.DirectoryServices DirectorySearcher class is a simple interface for making LDAP queries. The DirectoryEntry class is used for instantiating existing objects or creating new ones. In the Solution section, we used the DirectoryEntry class to access the RootDSE. DirectorySearcher and DirectoryEntry are the two main classes to become familiar with if you want to do Active Directory programming with .NET. For more information and examples on using System.DirectoryServices, see Chapter 31 of Active Directory, Third Edition, by Joe Richards et al. (O'Reilly).

System.DirectoryServices does not currently provide interfaces for everything that could be done with ADSI. Instead, you can use the NativeObject property on an instantiated object to return an ADSI object, which you can then use to access any ADSI properties or methods for the object.

See Also

Chapter 31 in Active Directory, Third Edition, by Joe Richards et al. (O'Reilly) and reference information for System.DirectoryServices at

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