The referral entry acts as a mount point, glueing two slapd databases together. A referral entry has an objectclass of "referral" and is named by a ref attribute containing a URL pointing to the slapd holding the data below the mount point. This mechanism is very general and allows slapd databases that are not normally hierarchical to be grafted together.
An example should help illustrate things. Suppose your company is running a slapd and just purchased a new company, also running a slapd. You can easily connect the two databases by creating an entry like this in your slapd's database.
dn: ref="ldap://new.host/o=New Company,c=US", o=YourNow any subtree search that has this entry in its scope will return a referral to the new company, in addition to any entries matched in your database. Referral-aware clients will continue the search at the new company's server.
A mechanism similar to this is used to support distributed indexing, described in Appendix C.
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