LDIF (Lightweight Directory Interchange Format) is an ASCII file format used to exchange data and enable the synchronization of that data between Lightweight Directory Access Protocol ( LDAP ) server s called Directory System Agents (DSAs). LDAP is a software protocol for enabling anyone to locate organizations, individuals, and other resources such as files and devices in a network. An LDAP directory can be distributed among many servers. LDIF is used to synchronize each LDAP directory.
The first step in synchronizing LDAP directories is extracting the full contents of or a portion of the original LDAP directory and formatting the contents into an LDIF file. The LDIF file is then mailed to a directory synchronization robot called DIRBOT. After several different steps, a final LDIF file is compared to the original LDIF file. The update instructions on what records to add, delete, or modify in the original directory are decided. These updates are then used to synchronize all LDAP directories.