LDAP Properties for CSVDE and VBScript

Research LDAP* Properties for the User object

This page explains the common LDAP attributes which are used in vbs scripts.  Programs like VBScript (WSH), CSVDE and LDIFDE rely on these LDAP attributes to create or modify objects in Active Directory.  For example, when you bulk import users you will include the LDAP attributes:  dn and sAMAccountName.

* LDAP is the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

Topics for LDAP Attributes

Hall of fame LDAP attribute – DN  distinguished name

As the word ‘distinguished’ suggests, this is THE LDAP attribute that uniquely defines an object.  Each DN must have a different name and location from all other objects in Active Directory.  The other side of the coin is that DN provides a way of selecting any object in Active Directory.  Once you have select the object, then you can change its attributes.

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 Attributes from Active Directory Users and Computers

The diagram below is taken from Active Directory Users and Computers. It shows the commonest LDAP attributes for vbs scripts.

LDAP Attributes for CSVDE

When you write your scripts, check how the LDAP attributes map to the Active Directory boxes.

One useful technique 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 NameCN=Guy Thomas.  Actually, this LDAP attribute is made up from givenName joined to SN.
descriptionWhat you see in Active Directory Users and Computers.  Not to be confused with displayName on the Users property sheet.
displayNamedisplayName = Guy Thomas.  If you script this property, be sure you understand which field you are configuring.  DisplayName can be confused with CN or description.
DN – also distinguishedNameDN is simply the most important LDAP attribute.
CN=Jay Jamieson, OU= Newport,DC=cp,DC=com
givenNameFirstname also called Christian name
homeDriveHome Folder : connect.  Tricky to configure
namename = Guy Thomas.  Exactly the same as CN.
objectCategoryDefines the Active Directory Schema category. For example, objectClass = Person
objectClassobjectClass = User.  Also used for Computer, organizationalUnit, even container.  Important top level container.
physicalDeliveryOfficeNameOffice! on the user’s General property sheet
profilePathRoaming profile path: connect.  Trick to set up
sAMAccountNamesAMAccountName = guyt.  Old NT 4.0 logon name, must be unique in the domain.  Can be confused with CN.
SNSN = Thomas. This would be referred to as last name or surname.
userAccountControlUsed to disable an account.  A value of 514 disables the account, while 512 makes the account ready for logon.
userPrincipalNameuserPrincipalName = [email protected]    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.

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LDAP Notes LDAP Properties - Active Directory Users and Computers

Display name and Description are different

Office’s LDAP attribute is:


E-mail is plain: mail

Examples of Exchange Specific LDAP attributes

homeMDB Here is where you set the MailStore

Legacy distinguished name for creating Contacts. In the following example,
Guy Thomas is a Contact in the first administrative group of GUYDOMAIN: /o=GUYDOMAIN/ou=first administrative group/cn=Recipients/cn=Guy Thomas
mailAn easy, but important attribute.  A simple SMTP address is all that is required [email protected]
mAPIRecipient – FALSEIndicates that a contact is not a domain user.
mailNicknameNormally this is the same value as the sAMAccountName, but could be different if you wished.  Needed for mail enabled contacts.
mDBUseDefaultsAnother straightforward field, just the value to:True
msExchHomeServerNameExchange needs to know which server to deliver the mail.  Example:
/o=YourOrg/ou=First Administrative Group/cn=Configuration/cn=Servers/cn=MailSrv
proxyAddressesAs the name ‘proxy’ suggests, it is possible for one recipient to have more than one email address.  Note the plural spelling of proxyAddresses.
 targetAddressSMTP:@ e-mail address.  Note that SMTP is case sensitive.  All capitals means the default address.
 showInAddressBookDisplays the contact in the Global Address List.

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Other LDAP attributes

cCountry or Region
companyCompany or organization name
departmentUseful category to fill in and use for filtering
homephoneHome Phone number, (Lots more phone LDAPs)
l  (Lower case L)L = Location.  City ( Maybe Office
locationImportant, particularly for printers.
managerBoss, manager
mobileMobile Phone number
ObjectClassUsually, User, or Computer
OUOrganizational unit.  See also DN
postalCodeZip or post code
stState, Province or County
streetAddressFirst line of address
telephoneNumberOffice Phone

Examples of obscure LDAP attributes

uSNCreated, uSNChanged
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.