Windows Directory User Agent (WDUA) version 2.1b is available

Kevin Lussier (
Mon, 9 Jan 1995 17:24:50 -0800


The next release of WDUA (2.1b) is available. It will (hopefully) soon
be available via anonymous ftp to
in the directory

It is also available immediately via the WWW at the URL

There's a lot of neat new stuff as well as bug fixes and performance
enchancements. For those who have used previous versions, I think that this
version is much nicer and offers much more flexibility and useability.


Kevin Lussier

Windows Directory User Agent Version 2.1b

WDUA is a tool for accessing the information stored in an X.500
directory. It's main purpose is to allow for easy searching of entries
in the directory. In addition, WDUA also has the ability to both view
and modify the information stored in those entries.

WDUA uses the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) libraries
put out by the Regents of the University of Michigan to talk to an
LDAP server.

Features - General
Full 32-bit Microsoft SDI application
Resizable in vertical direction
Setup program for easy installation
Truly asynchronous operations
Extremely configurable - No need to manually edit the .INI file
Supports external libraries for viewing, modifying and creating
entries via simple API
Supports external libraries for parsing data returned from the X.500
server via simple API
Uses simple authentication when binding to the LDAP server
Maintains a constant connection to the server
User configurable 'Hotlist' of X.500 distinguished names
Remembers previous positions in the X.500 tree so going back is easy
Uses user-definable map from X.500 names to 'Friendly Names'

Features - Searching
Support for LDAP filter file
Scope (depth) can be set to one of three levels
Searching can be exact or approximate
Caching can be turned on or off
User-friendly name searching
Filter searching
User-definable filters
Smart automatically apply filter acts like a 'Browse' mode
Timer shows how long current search is taking

Features - Default Viewer
Built-in in case no external viewers are used
Can retrieve and display any or all attributes of an X.500 entry in a
scrolling window
Attribute names can be mapped to user-defined viewing names
Separators can be used between attributes
Resizable in any direction

Features - Default Modifier
Built-in in case no external modifiers are used
Can retrieve and modify any or all attributes of an X.500 entry
Can insert data from a file

Features - Default Creator
Built-in in case no external modifiers are used
Uses Default Modifier to edit attributes and values

Features - For Individual Attributes
User-definable display name
User-definable data type
Best guess
Can be used as a filter
Can be shown or not shown
Can use external parser
User-definable external parser file name
User-definable external parser function name
Can be displayed as one of six different types
Single line
Multi line
Combo box
Distinguished name
Static text
User-definable label when displaying as a button
User-definable external application when displaying as a button

The most recent version of WDUA can always be obtained via anonymous
ftp to in the directory /software/windows-dua. The file
to get is called wduainst.exe.

If you get the program in a .ZIP form, unzip it and run SETUP.EXE to
install. If you get it in an .EXE form, run the .EXE and then run
SETUP.EXE to install. Answer the questions presented and WDUA 2.1b
will be installed on your system.

Beta, Beta, Beta
Every version of WDUA is beta. This is not to say that the program
hasn't been used much or hasn't been tested. The reason that it is
always beta is because it will probably never actually be a 'released'
product. The reason for this is because it was developed under
contract to NASA, and thus is in the public domain. To make sure that
NASA has no liabilities due to the use of WDUA (Even though there is a
disclaimer), it is put out as 'beta' software (If anything goes wrong,
hey it's only beta).

WDUA can trace its lineage to a program called seXie (Simple
Experimental X.500 Inquiry Engine) written by Mike Newell. seXie was
designed to be a very basic X.500 directory lookup tool, which it was.
The name, however, was a little too risque and was changed in a later
version to piXie (PC Implementation of an X.500 Inquiry Engine). piXie
kept the goal of a very basic X.500 directory lookup tool. piXie
worked well as far as it went, but needed further enhancements. These
further enhancements were handed over to Kevin Lussier. The ability to
play audio and view jpegPhoto attributes was then added. But the
demand for more features grew and it became more and more difficult to
patch piXie to meet these needs. Thus, WDUA was written.

The original WDUA (1.0b) used much of the same underlying code as
piXie, but restructured and with a new interface. This allowed for the
addition of such things as filters, user friendly name searches, LDAP
configuration files and the ability to stop a search in progress.

Shortly after WDUA 1.0b was introduced, the need arose for the ability
to modify the information in the X.500 directory. Thus, WDUA 2.0b was
written. The naming jump from v1.0 to v2.0 was justified because of
the significant number of additions necessary to allow for
modifications. In addition, the underlying code was rewritten from
scratch and the interface was again heavily modified. The new
enhancements were the ability to modify attributes and values of an
entry, modify the relative distinguished name of an entry, create new
entries or delete existing ones. Also, at this time, WDUA because a
Win32 program. All coding was done under Windows NT and two separate
version were compiled: One for Windows (16-bit) and one for Windows NT
(32-bit dubbed WDUA 32).

WDUA 2.1b is an upgrade that should significantly enhance ease of use
of the program. On the surface, the interface has been changed from
being a simple dialog box window (a design left over from the original
seXie implementation) to a true Microsoft SDI program complete with a
menu bar, toolbar and status bar. Also, the Browse window of past
versions has been integrated into the main Search window. Browsing now
consists of selecting the 'Automatically Apply Filter' checkbox which
puts the program into "browse mode". In addition, a Preferences menu
has been added that allows for the configuration of just about
everything in the initialization file. The last major surface
enchancement is the ability to use external libraries for viewing and
modifying information. Underneath, several more significant changes
have been made. Most notably is that WDUA now truly uses the
asynchronous features of the LDAP library. Thus, for example, you can
modify or view an entry while a search is being performed. This
required a fundamental shift in the way in which WDUA talked to the
LDAP server. Instead of using a polling method which checks for
responses after a time limit expires, the new version lets the Winsock
library tell it when information from the server is waiting to be
received. This method should improve the performance and effeciency of
the program.

Currently, there are no immediate plans for any major upgrades to
WDUA. Maintenance upgrades will of course be necessary when bugs are
discovered, or when minor changes or enhancements are made. But for
now, no significant modifications are in the works.