ADAM was released by Microsoft a number of years ago. It's a stripped down version of Active Directory that is a free download and will be shipped as part of the Longhorn Server OS. Stripped down doesn't mean anything bad - it means that the extra server "goo" that Active Directory provides to the domain (e.g., DHCP, DNS, etc) is all pulled out. The core of Active Directory is still there.
What do I like about it? Let me count the ways...
- It's lightweight.
- It runs on 32 and 64-bit machines.
- It's the core AD code-base so all the scalability and replication capabilities are just there.
- It's a free download.
- It's license-free for ISVs so you can bundle with your application.
- You can run multiple instances of ADAM on the same server.
- It's viral. What does that mean? Well, anyone can download, install, setup and build LDAP/ADAM-enabled applications without involving corporate IT. With AD, you need corporate IT involved because you can't just introduce a new domain controller on your own. (Well, you can try but you'll get your fingers slapped or worse.)
- It's multi-master. Can you believe that there are still directory servers out there than aren't fully multi-master?
- If you are using Active Directory you pretty much know how to use, maintain, monitor and operate ADAM.
- Did I say it was free? Can you believe there are still ISVs out there that sell their directory servers - usually per object?! Worse, can you believe that there are companies out there that still pay money for their directory servers when both ADAM and AD are essentially free?
It's amazing to see how much uptake ADAM has received since it was released. There isn't a customer out there that isn't using ADAM or planning on using it. You may even be using it without knowing it!
Microsoft, Active Directory, identity management