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Adding Subscribers to a Mail List using Active Directory

This document provides information about using AD to populate a sympa mail list membership list via the LDAP interface. 

Overview

This document provides information about using AD to populate a mail list membership list via the LDAP interface.    The University's AD server, ad.uillinois.edu, contains thousands of entries and refining your query is essential in retrieving useful results.   Additional information about the Sympa “LDAP 2-level query inclusion” can be found at: https://www.sympa.community/manual/customize/data-sources.html

Background

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)

  • A standard approach for interacting with distributed directory information services.

LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF)

  • LDIF defines the protocol used to describe directory information.  LDAP clients and services us LDIF to navigate, import, export and describe changes in the directory information.
  • Common LDIF fields include:
ldap filters

Filter

Friendly Name

Function

DN: 

distinguished name

The name that uniquely identifies an entry in the directory.

DC:

domain component

Refers to each component of the domain. 

E.g. ad.uillinois.edu  is written as: dc:=ad,dc:=uillinois,dc:edu

OU:

organizational unit

Organization unit or user group

CN:

common name

Name of an individual object (person’s name, meeting room, job title, thing, etc.) for whom/which you are querying


Using LDAP to Populate Mail list Members

  • This example constructs an AD query to include member names from the “listmanager” group and their email addresses in the list’s membership list.
  • This example also uses a fully qualified username* constructed with LDIF.

CN=Lists_BIND,OU=CITES Mailing Lists,OU=PAG,OU=CITES-Services,OU=CITES,OU=Urbana,DC=ad,DC=uillinois,DC=edu

Access the config page by clicking on:  (admin) > Edit List Config > Data sources setup and scroll to “LDAP 2-level query inclusion”. 

 

Admin > Edit List Config > Data sources setup and scroll to “LDAP 2-level query inclusion”. 

ldap 2-level query screenshot

The input fields and values of an example AD query.

ad queries

Input Field

Value

Description

short name for this source:

yourReferenceName

A human readable name for the data source.  (optional)

remote host:

ad.uillinois.edu

Name of ad server.  or ldap.ad.uillinois.edu

SSL ciphers used: 

ALL

The ciphers used to connect to server (default=ALL)

use SSL (LDAPS)

yes

Uses LDAPS protocol when communicating with server

SSL version:

tls

Defines which version of ssl is used.

remote user:

CN=Lists_BIND,OU=CITES Mailing Lists,OU=PAG,

OU=CITES-Services,OU=CITES,OU=Urbana,DC=ad,DC=uillinois,DC=edu

This username references a service account that is defined in the LDAP directory.

remote password:

User’s password

The user’s password.

first-level suffix:

CN=UserGroupName,OU=GroupName?,OU=YourTargetSubOrgName,

OU=YourTargetOrgName,OU=Urbana,DC=ad,DC=uillinois,DC=edu

define the path to the LDAP entry/directory that contains your target user group.

first-levels search scope

sub

Search scope

base:  search only the base object

one:  search 1 level below base object

sub:  search whole tree below base object

first-level connection timeout:

90

Timeout when connection to server. (seconds)

first-level filter:

(objectclass=group)

e.g.

(&(cn=[put the name of your remote user here])(objectclass=group))

The LDAP search filter/query

first-level extracted attribute: 

member

The attribute to be returned (users name)

first-level selection:

all

Defines what attribute to use:

first – only the first attribute value

all – use all attribute values.

regex – use value matching the defined regular expression.

first-level regular expression:

The regular expression used for matching values.

second-level suffix template:

[attrs1]

The data object returned by the first-level query to be used in the second-level query

second-level search scope:

base

Search scope

base:  search only the base object

one:  search 1 level below base object

sub:  search whole tree below base object

second-level connection timeout:

90

Timeout when connection to server. (seconds)

second-level filter template:

(objectclass=person)

The LDAP search filter/query

second-level extracted attribute:

mail

The attribute to be returned (email address)

second-level selection:

first

Defines what attribute to use:

first – only the first attribute value

all – use all attribute values.

regex – use value matching the defined regular expression.

second-level regular expression:

The regular expression used for matching values.

Basic Example LDAP Query 

Reading through the configuration query we have:   a remote data source LDAP 2-level query called testing_listmgr and contacts ad.uillinois.edu using all available ciphers via SSL using SSL version tls.  The query will connect to the server as user Lists_BIND who belongs to a specific organization.  The first-level query will traverse to the location of the target group "CN=UserGroupName,OU=GroupName?,OU=YourTargetSubOrgName,OU=YourTargetOrgName,OU=Urbana,DC=ad,DC=uillinois,DC=edu and will traverse the entire tree sub below ad.uillinois.edu looking for the “member object for “all objects.  The second-level query will take the result from the first-level [attrs1] and search for the mail attribute of the person object, but will only take the first email address it finds and return the result to Sympa to be included in the mail list membership list.

ldap 2 level query example screenshot

How often does the Campus Mailing List server sync with LDAP?

The sync is controlled by two settings at the bottom of this config page:
- inclusion timeout (default = 86,400 seconds or 24 hrs)
- inclusion timeout for message distribution (default = 5 minute)

In this case, Sympa will query the LDAP server on a daily basis AND it also checks before a message is distributed to the list.  If the sync has exceeded 5 minutes from the last update then Sympa will sync again before message distribution and the subscriber list will never be more than 5 minutes stale.

The privileged owner can change these settings to meet their needs.

Active Directory - Tools and Syntax

LDAP Tools

We recommend you install an LDAP admin tool to help navigate the AD space.  Useful tools include:

Both tools are freely available and will let you navigate the LDAP directory structure to help create useful queries.  Below is a screenshot of Microsoft’s utility.  Refining the search space using LDIF and specific queries is key to useful results. 

 screenshot of MS RSAT Active Directory Users and Computers interface

LDAP Syntax

Microsoft LDAP queries and syntax specific to AD can be found at:  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/5392.active-directory-ldap-syntax-filters.aspx



Keywordssympa mailing list mail list active directory subscribers sync   Doc ID127518
OwnerSympa S.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2023-04-28 09:06:33Updated2023-05-01 07:15:21
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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