Introduction to ADSI
Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) is a set of COM interfaces used to access the features of directory services from different network providers. ADSI is used in a distributed computing environment to present a single set of directory service interfaces for managing network resources. Administrators and developers can use ADSI services to enumerate and manage the resources in a directory service, no matter which network environment contains the resource.
ADSI enables common administrative tasks, such as adding new users, managing printers, and locating resources in a distributed computing environment.
Network Administrators can use ADSI to automate common tasks, such as adding users and groups, managing printers, and setting permissions on network resources.
Independent Software Vendors and end-user developers can use ADSI to "directory enable" their products and applications. Services can publish themselves in a directory, clients can use the directory to find the services, and both can use the directory to find and manipulate other objects of interest. Because Active Directory Service Interfaces are independent of the underlying directory service(s), directory-enabled products and applications can operate successfully in multiple network and directory environments.
You can write ADSI client applications in many languages. For most administrative tasks, ADSI defines interfaces and objects accessible from Automation-compliant languages like Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript), and Java to the more performance and efficiency-conscious languages such as C and C++. A good foundation in COM programming is useful to the ADSI programmer.
Active Directory runs on Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and Windows 2000 Server domain controllers. However, client applications using ADSI may be written and run on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 98, and Windows 95. In addition, developers will want the Platform SDK, also available on the MSDN Web site. To investigate the contents of Active Directory, use the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in. This snap-in replaces the Adsvw tool that was available for previous versions of Windows.
Smartsite and ADSI
Many companies want to be able to retrieve and reuse the data available in the active directory within Smartsite. As of now this can be achieved by adding a connectionstring in the smartsite.data.config-file that has read/write access from/to the active directory. Using SXML will facilitate the business logic needed. More information about the configuration can be found here: ADSI & Smartsite Configuration