Simple Paged Results Scorecard: Let the Buyer Beware

Question came up at a meeting today, “what directories support Simple Paged Results Control?” This is an important one because lots of 3rd party vendors who claim their software can “use LDAP” actually developed their “LDAP compatibility” on Active Directory — and have hardcoded paged results searching into their application. As a result they won’t work with any directory that doesn’t support Simple Paged Results Control. An updated list of directories that do after the jump.

Currently the following directory servers support Simple Paged Results Control:

389 Directory Server
Red Hat Directory Server 8.2+
Oracle Internet Directory (I’ve had problems actually getting it to work on OID)
Microsoft Active Directory (special limits noted below)
Novell eDirectory
IBM eDirectory

Support is still missing from Sun (now Oracle) Directory Server Enterprise Edition (DSEE) and ApacheDS.

An integration specialist’s internal alarm bells should go off whenever a product claims “LDAP v3” compatibility but only specifically lists Active Directory. Active Directory has a default maximum page size of 1,000 entries per page, but more importantly a hard limit of a maximum 2,000 entries returned on any search — even for an administrative user. As a result it is almost certain that every search done by an app that is able to work with Active Directory is going to invoke the control on every search. That being the case, that same app is going tol fail when searching a directory that does not support the control.

Personally and professionally, I think it’s a crime that Simple Paged Results is still not supported by DSEE, especially considering that this standard was first published in 1999. The only explaination for it being missing has to be Sun’s desperate effort to perpetuate lock-in to its own proprietary protocols like Virtual List View (which isn’t nearly as helpful as Simple Paged Results in addressing problems with managing large numbers of results).

Note: Given that this article is the all-time most viewed on this web site, I’m going to guess that the majority of my readers already know what Simple Paged Results is and how useful it truly is.