Definition of publishing in The Network Encyclopedia.

What is Publishing?

In Active Directory of Microsoft Windows 2000, the process of making directory objects accessible to users on the network. Objects created in Active Directory are automatically published on the network. For example, when you create a new user object (information about that user, such as the user’s phone number and e-mail address) users on the network can look up that information using Active Directory.

If an object that doesn’t reside in Active Directory (such as a shared folder or shared printer) is published, Active Directory points to its location on the network. Most objects are automatically published in Active Directory if they reside on computers running Windows 2000, but you might have to manually publish the location of other objects, such as shared folders and printers on downlevel computers running Windows NT.


When you consider whether to publish an object in Active Directory, think about whether the information will be changed frequently. Published information should be relatively static. Information should be published when it will be useful to a large segment of the enterprise community. Structured information is more useful to publish than individual items such as files, which should be published instead in file systems accessed through share points. Applications can publish their connection points and application data in Active Directory.