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LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) is a protocol designed for accessing and maintaining distributed directory information services. It is commonly used for authentication and authorization purposes and provides a hierarchical structure for storing and managing user and system information. LDAP defines a standard set of methods for interacting with directory servers and can be used to perform operations such as search, add, delete, modify, and authenticate.

In addition, LDAP has evolved to represent a variety of directory system implementations, including OpenLDAP, Apache Directory, and FreeIPA. These systems provide a range of features, such as security, scalability, and interoperability, making LDAP a flexible and widely adopted directory service solution.

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