How objects are stored in the Active Directory
If you have ever used Microsoft Access or SQL Server, then you are probably used to being able to open the database and view it in its entirety. However, none of the primaryadministrative tools used for managing the Active Directory will allow you to see theentire Active Directory database. Instead, Microsoft provides you with a variety of management tools that each focus on a specific area of the database. As a newadministrator, the administrative tool that you will probably use the most often is theActive Directory Users and Computers console.You can access the Active Directory Users and Computers console from any WindowsServer 2003 domain controller by selecting the Active Directory Users and Computerscommand from the server’s Start / All Programs / Administrative Tools menu. Theconsole itself looks something like what you see in Figure A
The Active Directory Users and Computers console is the primaryadministrative tool for managing Active Directory objects.I will later discuss the process of creating or editing Active Directory objects, meanwhileI wanted to go ahead and show you this console because it reveals a little bit the structureof the Active Directory. If you look at Figure A, you will notice that there are a number of containers, each of which correspond to a specific object type. Every object in theentire Active Directory is assigned an object type (known as an object class). Each objectalso has a number of attributes associated with it. The specific attributes vary dependingon the object type.