I (my company) run a webservice that integrates pieces of few entreprisey-level software.

Most of them offer different type of authentication but all offers at least LDAP.

I was wondering if storing my application users directly in an LDAP directory would be a good idea. This way all the application I am using could rely on it for authentication purpose.

I am aware that LDAP is not a database per se, but it is a datastore. I am also aware that there is no kind of constraints thus deleting a user on the LDAP directory won't do anything on my actual data, but this case would be taken care of with an extra process.

My main question here is : is there any reason why I shouldn't use LDAP as my users database ?


It may be easier or harder if the libraries/frameworks you are using for your application allow usage of a separate datastore for user authentication.

Assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that the framework used to build your application has support for storing your user data/model in LDAP, you may benefit nicely from it. The enterprisey application of LDAP authentication and authorization.

LDAP is generally massively optimized for reads over writes which is generally the sort usage profile seen for most user accounts.


LDAP is orignally designed for just this use-case, generally it's also a lot faster than, for instance, a relational database. There have been several implementations which are widely used such as Active Directory. So I do not see why using LDAP for user authentication could/would be a bad idea.

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