Active Directory Properties

Active Directory Properties – LDAP* Fields

Here are the common LDAP attributes which correspond to Active Directory properties.  They are useful for VBScripts which rely on these LDAP attributes to create or modify objects in Active Directory.  For instance if you bulk import users into Active Directory you need to include the LDAP attributes:  dn and sAMAccountName.

* LDAP is the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

Topics for Active Directory Properties


Vital LDAP Field – DN  Distinguished Name

The keyword ‘distinguished’ means that this attribute is important, and it uniquely defines an Active Directory object.  Therefore, each DN must have a unique name and location from all other objects in Active Directory. 

Time spent in getting to know the DN attribute will repay many fold.  Observe the different components CN=common name, OU = organizational unit.  DC often comes with two entries, DC=CP, DC=COM.  Note that DC=CP.COM would be wrong.  Incidentally in this situation, DC means domain content rather than domain controller.

Another point with the syntax is to check the speech marks; when used with VBScript commands, DN is often enclosed in "speech marks".  Even the speech marks have to be of the right type, "double quotes are correct", ‘single quotes may be ignored’ with unpredictable results.  Finally, pay particular attention to commas in distinguished names.

LDAP Fields from Active Directory Users and Computers

The diagram below is taken from Active Directory Users and Computers. It shows the commonest LDAP attributes used in VBScript.

LDAP Attributes for CSVDE

It’s worth spending the time to check how the LDAP attributes map to the Active Directory boxes.

One technique that I like to employ is to add values in the boxes, then export using CSVDE, finally open the file in Excel and search for the value.

LDAP Attribute


CN – Common Name CN=Alan Thomas.  Actually, this LDAP attribute is made up from givenName joined to SN.
description What you see in Active Directory Users and Computers.  Not to be confused with displayName on the Users property sheet.
displayName displayName = Alan Thomas.  Ensure that you understand which field you are configuring.  DisplayName can be confused with CN or description.
DN – also distinguishedName DN is simply the most important LDAP attribute.
CN=Jimmy Ward, OU= Newport,DC=cp,DC=com
givenName Firstname also called Christian name
homeDrive Home Folder : connect.  Tricky to configure
name name = Alan Thomas.  Exactly the same as CN.
objectCategory Defines the Active Directory Schema category. For example, objectCategory = Person
objectClass objectClass = User.  Also used for Computer, organizationalUnit, even container.  Important top level container.
physicalDeliveryOfficeName Office! on the user’s General property sheet
profilePath Roaming profile path: connect.  Trick to set up
sAMAccountName sAMAccountName = guyt.  Old NT 4.0 logon name, must be unique in the domain.  Can be confused with CN.
SN SN = Thomas. This would be referred to as last name or surname.
userAccountControl Used to disable an account.  A value of 514 disables the account, while 512 makes the account ready for logon.
userPrincipalName userPrincipalName =    Often abbreviated to UPN, and looks like an email address.  Very useful for logging on especially in a large Forest.   Note UPN must be unique in the forest.
 LDAP Properties - Active Directory Users and Computers

LDAP Notes

Display name and Description are different

Office’s LDAP attribute is:


E-mail is plain: mail

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Other LDAP attributes

Examples of Exchange Specific LDAP attributes

homeMDB  Here is where you set the MailStore
legacyExchangeDN Legacy distinguished name for creating Contacts. In the following example,
Alan Thomas is a Contact in the first administrative group of GUYDOMAIN: /o=GUYDOMAIN/ou=first administrative group/cn=Recipients/cn=Alan Thomas
mail An easy, but important attribute.  A simple SMTP address is all that is required
mAPIRecipient – FALSE Indicates that a contact is not a domain user.
mailNickname Normally this is the same value as the sAMAccountName, but could be different if you wished.  Needed for mail enabled contacts.
mDBUseDefaults Another straightforward field, just the value to:True
msExchHomeServerName Exchange needs to know which server to deliver the mail.  Example:
/o=YourOrg/ou=First Administrative Group/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=MailSrv
proxyAddresses As the name ‘proxy’ suggests, it is possible for one recipient to have more than one email address.  Note the plural spelling of proxyAddresses.
 targetAddress SMTP:@ e-mail address.  Note that SMTP is case sensitive.  All capitals means the default address.
 showInAddressBook Displays the contact in the Global Address List.

Other LDAP attributes

c Country or Region
company Company or organization name
department Useful category to fill in and use for filtering
homephone Home Phone number, (Lots more phone LDAPs)
l  (Lower case L) L = Location.  City ( Maybe Office
location Important, particularly for printers.
manager Boss, manager
mobile Mobile Phone number
ObjectClass Usually, User, or Computer
OU Organizational unit.  See also DN
postalCode Zip or post code
st State, Province or County
streetAddress First line of address
telephoneNumber Office Phone

Examples of obscure LDAP attributes

uSNCreated, uSNChanged

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LDAP and CSVDE Tip  To discover more LDAP attributes, go to the command prompt, type:

CSVDE -f Exportfile.csv.  Then open Exportfile.csv with Excel.exe.   Alternatively, use ADSI Edit and right-click the container objects.

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