Before diving into this topic, it should be stated that Cisco has a good SRND for Unified Communications that digs into the details on the LDAP integration. I plan on going into the moving parts and leave the “restrictions and considerations” to the SRND, well for the most part anyway.
Admittedly, most of our customers are chomping at the bit to integrate into LDAP. However, we have a few that ask the question: “Why would I want LDAP integration?”. Usually when you commence with the dialogue following this question you find that there are some concerns around LDAP in the organization. Such as, there isn’t just one – LDAP that is. A related concern is the accuracy of the information in LDAP. We find that either key fields were never populated or that there are a lot of objects that are “orphaned”. This inevitably devolves into concerns about the usefulness of LDAP integration with UC applications. Usually at this point in the conversation, much time is spent discussing the differences between “White Pages” (Corporate Directory on the Phone), LDAP synchronization, and LDAP authentication. Every once in a while, we also have to explain that phone stations aren’t provisioned via LDAP synchronization. This often resets the conversation back to “well, there isn’t one LDAP”.
But back to our original question: “why?”. The reasons for implementing an LDAP solution vary depending on what applications and services you have deployed or are planning to deploy in the environment. For instance, if you are working with Cisco Unified Presence Server (CUPS) or Unified Mobile Advantage (CUMA), LDAP integration can play a key role because of the way the various clients for this applications fulfill their respective jobs. But more on that later.
For me, it isn’t about the “White Pages”. It is about …