LDAP is like COBOL

Not really, but Dave Kearns has a post reflecting on his remark at the recent European Identity Conference that LDAP “is the COBOL of identity”. According to Dave, it was “intended as 1) a cheap laugh; and 2) as a short, memorable way of saying that LDAP would always be with us.”

As Dave says, the main difference between COBOL and LDAP is pretty obvious. COBOL is a programming language. LDAP is a protocol. Also, unlike COBOL, LDAP is something that’s served up by a whole bunch of products, upon which a whole bunch of other products depend. And it facilitates identity security in a way no programming language does on its own.

What COBOL and LDAP have in common, as Dave astutely points out, is that they will both “always be with us”, one way or another.

For the record, I always hated COBOL. Which is probably how most of my developer friends feel about LDAP.