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11.2.1 Example: using a DAO with LDAP
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LDAP is an awesome tool for storing hierarchical data, and is often used by net-
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work administrators for tracking users, group memberships, and other similar data. For example, both Novell Directory Services (NDS) and Microsoft s ActiveDirectory are based on LDAP and expose LDAP APIs. Using the DAO pattern to access a directory using LDAP is a great way to keep the nuances of JNDI programming out of your application code. By creating a
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interface WebServiceGateway
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The DAO pattern is similar to the Gateway pattern.
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Doing more with DAO
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small special-purpose set of classes, you can build lightweight, testable JNDI components, and then hook them into your DAO implementation without exposing the data source. Understanding LDAP terminology Before launching into a complete example of building an LDAP directory based DAO implementation, let s review some terminology. LDAP is intentionally vague, because it is intended to be a very flexible general-purpose protocol for accessing a repository of hierarchical data. The basic building block of an LDAP directory is called an entry, which can contain data (called attributes), other entries, or both. Every entry has exactly one parent and is uniquely identified by a Distinguished Name (DN), which is unique across the entire directory. The data elements in that entry are defined by one or more object classes that the entry represents. The data stored in LDAP directory entries are made up of attributes, which are name/value pairs that are virtually identical to Java s Map interface. The object class (or classes) of the entry will determine which optional attributes the entry can have, as well as which required attributes it must have. For example, if we want to create a contact manager that manages normal LDAP entities with a Java application, we might have a bean to represent an entry, and that bean would look like this:
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public class Contact { private String userId; private String mail; private String description; private String firstName; private String lastName; // Getters and Setters to make properties... }
One approach to storing this object in an LDAP directory would be to simply serialize the Java object into the directory. For our example, we are not going to do that for two reasons. One reason is that we want to be able to use our directory to interoperate with other, potentially non-Java systems. The other is that we want to take advantage of LDAP-based queries we want to use the database as it was intended to be used. Mapping from Java to LDAP As mentioned earlier, every LDAP directory entry represents one or more object classes. These object classes define groups of attributes. Because of the similarity
Using the DAO pattern with other data sources
between these attributes and Java s Map interface, it would be trivial to create a Map-based version of the DAO that simply used a Map to hide the JNDI attributes structure. In this section however, we will create a DAO that will use the bean from the previous section by mapping it to an LDAP inetOrgPerson entry using the mapping in table 11.2.
Table 11.1 JavaBean to LDAP attribute mapping LDAP attribute uid mail description sn givenName
Bean property userId mail description lastName firstName
This mapping will be accomplished in our DAO implementation by using methods to create a bean from an Attributes object, or an Attributes object from a bean. While it would be possible to create a reflection-based mapping mechanism for this, we are going to make our DAO implementation very simple and just hardcode the mapping. Listing 11.5 contains the three methods from our DAO implementation that are responsible for that mapping.
Listing 11.5 Support methods for our LDAP DAO implementation
private Attributes getAttributes(Contact contact){ Attributes returnValue = new BasicAttributes(); returnValue.put("mail", contact.getMail()); returnValue.put("uid", contact.getUserId()); returnValue.put("objectClass", "inetOrgPerson"); returnValue.put( "description", contact.getDescription()); returnValue.put("sn", contact.getLastName()); returnValue.put("cn", contact.getUserId()); returnValue.put("givenName", contact.getFirstName()); return returnValue; } private Contact getContact(Attributes attributes) { Contact contact = new Contact(); contact.setDescription( getAttributeValue(attributes, "description")); contact.setLastName( getAttributeValue(attributes, "sn"));
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