BPuhl’s Blog

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Archive for June, 2006

Interesting SSID and Reusing Attributes

Posted by BPuhl on June 3, 2006

I bought a new truck a few months ago, and right on schedule (as the salesman promised), as I was coming due for my first oil change, I got a card for my first one free at the dealership.  Never being one to turn down a free deal, I dropped in the other day, handed over my keys, and directed to the lobby where the offered, “Free cofee, pastries, and wireless internet.”  This is Redmond after all.

So sitting down with my laptop, coffee cup, and a donut, I fired up my laptop to synch my e-mail.  Viewing the available wireless networks, I almost laughed out loud when I read the SSID:

LJ Chev Cust Net – Ask Cashier for Key

99% of you probably just looked at that and went, “Umm, yeah…DUH!”  But both of the people in the office that I mentioned this to said, “Whoa, neat…” which by my statistical methodology made this blog-worthy.

So what does this have to do with AD?  It reminds me of a common question that goes through the AD discussion alias at work.  The details change, but the gist of it is always something akin to:

“I’ve got a customer/application/user that is asking whether there are any applications (MS or 3rd party) that use the drink attribute, they are creating a custom password reset portal, and need someplace to store the answer to the secret-question.”

Three people just fell out of their chairs laughing, two of you did one of those “I can’t believe it” head smacks, and there’s one guy who just made a note to himself that he needs to update his portal application to use a different attribute.  THAT’S the guy that I want to talk to.

Reusing attributes is bad, each and every one has an intended purpose…well…ok, there are those pesky extensionAttributes, but let’s not get picky…  If you’re creating an application that needs to store data in AD, then go ahead and get an OID branch, and create one… there’s a ton of documentation out there on how to do this.

Someone is going to say something about being so cavalier with the schema.  Yes, I understand that it’s a one-way operation, and I always advocate doing appropriate testing before mucking with your production schema, but I’ve always been mildly disappointed at the level of FUD that Microsoft created surrounding schema extensions.  Caution and due diligence should be taken with everything you do in Active Directory.


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