LDAP, short for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, defines a means to find and edit information in white pages.
Using LDAP, email, groupware, contact and other software can access and manipulate entries on a directory server. Typically organized in a structured manner, the directory may list all a company's employees, for example. LDAP is the protocol used to add and delete, search and list entries in the directory.
LDAP History and Origins
LDAP is a simple form of DAP (Directory Access Protocol), which provides access to X.500 directory services. Because DAP is complex and difficult to implement, it has not gained widespread acceptance. LDAP does not provide all the functionality of DAP, but is easier and much cheaper to implement.