Monday, December 29, 2008

How to create a lean Oracle Internet Directory


A Directory Service such as Microsoft Active Directory (AD) stores a variety of information about an enterprise viz. User Accounts, Organization Units, Printer names, Computer names, Fax Machine names and other network resources. If AD is the master source of truth for Oracle Internet Directory (OID), the Oracle Directory Integration Assistant provides a default filter to retrieve only the needed resourcers i.e user accounts (objectclass=user), groups and Organization Units (objectclass=organizationalunit). Below is the default filter to retrieve information from a Microsoft Active Directory. This can be viewed by launching dipassistant -gui tool on the Oracle Internet Directory (OID) host (dipassistant -gui => ActiveChgImp => Filtering)


Custom Filter

One can add additional conditions in the searchfilter to block unwanted resources such as disabled user accounts, special user accounts, generic user accounts or even organization units if a FLAT DIT is implemented. In a huge enterprise, Active Directory can contain thousands of unwanted user account names and if a custom filter is not used, all these unwanted entries will be loaded into FND_USER table on the E-Business Suite database if "Unconditional Provisioning" is enabled.

A few advantages of a custom filter are the following

  1. A lean OID (less number of rows in the ODS schema and lesser number of entries processed during the initial bootstrap operation to get data from AD to OID).
  2. Less work performed by the AD to OID syncrhonziation jobs during every scheduled interval.
  3. A lean FND_USER table if Unconditional Provisioning is turned on.

How to write a custom filter

Conditions written in boolean operators are usually in the form of (condition_1 and condition_2), (condition_1 and (condition_2 or condition_3)) etc.

But an LDAP searchfilter is written differently. Note the position where the boolean operators are placed in the below examples.

Example 1 : (condition_1 and condition_2) is written as and(condition_1)(condition_2)

Example 2 : (condition_1 and (condition_2 or condition_3)) is written as and(condition_1)or((condition_2)(condition_3))

In our enterprise's Active Directory, special account names have a . (DOT) in them such as ADMIN.PAYROLL, Inactive users are stored in the attribute Org-UserStatus with an "I". The custom search filter for our case is


If one wants to write a custom filter, one should work with the AD administrator to obtain the conditions and attribute names that can be used in the filtering process. Now follow the rules mentioned above to place the boolean operators in the right positions to get the filter working.

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