attribute property

Definition of attribute property in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Attribute Property?

A property of an object in Active Directory. Attributes are the actual information stored in an object. For example, a user class object is composed of attributes, such as a First Name attribute for a user account object.

Attributes define the actual characteristics of objects in Active Directory. Every class of objects has its own defining set of attributes. Different objects within this class are distinguished by the values of their attributes. Some attributes, such as the First Name attribute for a user account object, must have a value assigned to them when they are created. Other attributes, such as Phone Number, can optionally be left unvalued.

Each attribute in Active Directory is defined only once and can be used for many different object classes. All objects of the same type have the same set of attributes. Different objects of the same type are distinguished by different attribute values. It is therefore the values of the attributes of a particular object that make that object unique in Active Directory.

Attributes are defined in a special portion of Active Directory. An attribute definition includes

  • The syntax (type of information) of the attribute, such as integer, date, or string
  • Whether the attribute is single-valued or multivalued

Each syntax type is specified by an object identifier, which is a globally unique identifier (GUID) issued by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The allowable syntax types for attributes of objects in Active Directory are shown in this table.

Allowable Syntax Types for Object Attributes

Syntax Object Identifier Description
Not a legal syntax
Distinguished name
The fully qualified name of an object in the directory
Object identifier
Identifies an object
Case-sensitive string
Differentiates uppercase and lowercase
Case-insensitive string
Does not differentiate uppercase and lowercase
Print case string
Printable string
Numeric string
A sequence of digits
OR name
An x400 e-mail address
A 32-bit number
Octet string
A string of bytes
The number of seconds elapsed since 1/1/1970
Wide string
NT security descriptor 66
Windows NT Security Descriptor
Large integer
A 64-bit number
Security identifier (SID) 4