Chapter 3. Designing the Directory Schema

The site survey conducted in Chapter 2, Planning the Directory Data revealed information about the data which will be stored in the directory. The directory schema describes the types of data in the directory, so determining what schema to use reflects decisions on how to represent the data stored in the directory. During the schema design process, each data element is mapped to an LDAP attribute, and related elements are gathered into LDAP object classes. A well-designed schema helps to maintain the integrity of the directory data.
This chapter describes the directory schema and how to design a schema for unique organizational needs.
For information on replicating a schema, see Section 7.4.4, “Schema Replication”.

3.1. Schema Design Process Overview

During the schema design process, select and define the object classes and attributes used to represent the entries stored by Red Hat Directory Server. Schema design involves the following steps:
  1. Choosing predefined schema elements to meet as many of data needs as possible.
  2. Extending the standard Directory Server schema to define new elements to meet other remaining needs.
  3. Planning for schema maintenance.
The simplest and most easily-maintained option is to use existing schema elements defined in the standard schema provided with Directory Server. Choosing standard schema elements helps ensure compatibility with directory-enabled applications. Because the schema is based on the LDAP standard, it has been reviewed and agreed to by a wide number of directory users.