TER Volume 14, Number 1, June 2007: Review of Active Directory Cookbook

Technology Electronic Reviews
Volume 14, Number 1, June 2007

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REVIEW OF: Robbie Allen and Laura E. Hunter. (2006). Active Directory Cookbook. 2nd Edition. Sebastopol, Ca.: O’Reilly Media, Inc. (ISBN: 059610202X). 962 pp. $ 49.99.

By Christine Noonan

Active Directory allows system administrators to assign enterprise-wide policies, deploy programs, and apply updates to an entire organization by storing information and settings in a central database. This second edition was specifically updated for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and R2 versions and can be useful to anyone who has to install, administer or automate Active Directory. Containing over 500 recipes with step-by-step instructions to solve both common and uncommon problems, this book belongs in any library with a well-rounded computer science and computer engineering collection.

In the same vein as other O’Reilly Cookbooks already on your library shelves, the book consists of twenty-three chapters each containing up to thirty recipes for performing a specific task. Each recipe also includes four sections: Problem, Solution, Discussion, and See Also. The Problem section briefly describes the task or problem. The Solution section contains step-by-step instructions on how to complete the task. The Discussion section contains detailed information about the problem or solution. And, the See Also section provides additional resources if you need further information. There are recipes to deal with Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), ADAM, Domain Name System (DNS), Group Policy, Site Typology, Active Directory Schema, Replication and many others. With Active Directory there are multiple ways to accomplish any given task. The authors take this to heart by including solutions to each recipe using graphical user interface (GUI), command-line interface (CLI), and scripting language examples.

The most important thing to remember about this book is that you don’t need an extensive programming background to use it. The VBScript and Perl solutions are straightforward offering quick solutions for day-to-day dilemmas. Additionally, an exhaustive index makes this book more accessible by directing readers to quick answers at their point of need. So if you find yourself thrown into Active Directory installation, fear not!

Additional resources of interest to readers are the companion book, Active Directory, Third edition, by Joe Richards et al. and two websites. The first is a web page for the book with errata, examples and additional information http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/activedckbk2/ and the second is the author’s website http://www.rallenhome.com/books/adcookbook2 containing over 500 code samples.

Christine Noonan is currently a Transformative Technologies Information Specialist in the Pacific Northwest.

Copyright © 2007 by Christine Noonan. This document may be reproduced in whole or in part for noncommercial, educational, or scientific purposes, provided that the preceding copyright statement and source are clearly acknowledged. All other rights are reserved. For permission to reproduce or adapt this document or any part of it for commercial distribution, address requests to the author.


Technology Electronic Reviews (TER) is an irregular electronic serial publication of the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. The primary function of TER is to provide reviews of and pointers to a variety of print and electronic resources about information technology. Resources include books, articles, serials, discussion lists, training materials, bibliographies, and other items of interest to librarians and information technology professionals. The topics covered may include, but are not limited to, networking technologies and standards; hardware and software; operating systems; databases; specific programming languages; management tools and utilities; technical project management; training and personnel issues; library perspectives; and research and development.

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