The OSI directory system manages a distributed directory information database of named objects, defining a hierarchical relationship between the objects. An object consists of a set of attributes as determined by a particular class. Attributes are tuples that include a type and one or more values. The directory database is partitioned among a set of directory system agents. The directory service is provided by a collection of agents and incorporates distributed algorithms for name resolution and search, resulting in a network transparent service. The objects can represent many real-world entities. The service is intended to serve a very large and diverse user community. This paper describes experiences gained in implementing the directory service. It also points out a number of areas in the current OSI directory design that require further work and then describes how the EAN directory system has addressed these difficulties.
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