Net_LDAP is a clone of Perls Net::LDAP package. PEAR Net_LDAP for PHP does, besides some own features, provide most of Perl Net::LDAP methods. Net_LDAP allows you to query and manipulate the data stored in directory servers using PHP in an object-oriented way. A directory server is a database server providing a hierarchical database and is usually queried using the LDAP protocol.
The following table gives you a short overview which classes are available in Net_LDAP and what they can be used for. Their relations will be explained too.
Table 54-1. Classes of Net_LDAP
|Net_LDAP||This is the main class. It enables you to connect and bind to a LDAP-server and to run ldap-querys like searching and manipulating entries. Most common, you will run a search using a LDAP-Filter and will get a Net_LDAP_Search-object. You may also fetch an entry directly, which gives you a Net_LDAP_Entry-object.|
|Net_LDAP_Search||Objects of this class are returned from search querys. You can use this object to retrieve informations about a search result, like how much entries you have found for the provided filter. You can retrieve the found entries as Net_LDAP_Entry-objects in various forms: sorted, consecutively starting from the end or beginning or unsorted at once.|
|Net_LDAP_Entry||Objects of this kind are either produced by casting fresh entries manually, by retrieving the result of a LDAP-search or by fetching an entry directly. It gives you the possibility to read and/or manipulate the attributes of an entry which describes the characteristic of the specific object.|
|Net_LDAP_Util||The utility class contains only static methods, so you should not need to make an instance of it. It features some helpful methods, some of them are used internally by Net_LDAP but may be used externally from you as well. The most methods deal with escaping issues, since LDAP has some metacharacters with special meaning so that they usually need to be properly escaped.|
|Net_LDAP_Filter||You are free to give LDAP-Filters on your own to the Net_LDAP->search() method, however this has some drawbacks (including escaping issues). For this reason, you can use the Net_LDAP_Filter class to easily build and combine your filters. LDAP filters are extensively explained at the chapter LDAP filters.|
|Net_LDAP_Error||This is a error class. Most methods of Net_LDAP will return a object of this class if something went wrong. You can use this object to identify errors and to get detailed knowledge on what went wrong. See Errorhandling for more information.|
|Net_LDAP_LDIF||LDIF files are human readable, plain text files containing directory data and/or change commands, much like an SQL file. Unlike SQL files, it is data centric, not action centric. Net_LDAP_LDIF enables you to convert between Net_LDAP_Entry-objects and LDIF files. Please note, that Net_LDAP_LDIF has a little different error handling explained later.|