Lightweight Directory Access Protocol is a software protocol used to locate organizations, individuals and resources in a network, either public or company intranet. LDAP allows users to search a network directory without knowing the domain name, allowing them to search for a individual without knowing that person's location.
A tree hierarchy is used in an LDAP directory consisting of from top to bottom: the root directory, countries, organization, organizational units and individuals. The organizational units level contains different departments within a company, and the individuals level of the directory contains files and shared resources on the network as well as people. An LDAP directory can be distributed between different servers, which can each have a replicated version that is periodically synchronized.