INTERNET-DRAFT                                      Kurt D. Zeilenga
Intended Category: Standard Track                OpenLDAP Foundation
Expires in six months                                3 February 2004

                          The LDAP No-Op Control

Status of this Memo

  This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with all
  provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.

  This document is intended to be, after appropriate review and
  revision, submitted to the IESG for consideration as a Standard Track
  document.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.  Technical
  discussion of this document will take place on the IETF LDAP
  Extensions mailing list <>.  Please send editorial
  comments directly to the author <>.

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  Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.

  Please see the Full Copyright section near the end of this document
  for more information.


  This document defines the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  No-Op control which can be used to disable the normal effect of an
  operation.  The control can be used to discover how a server might
  react to a particular update request without updating the directory.

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1.  Overview

  It is often desirable to be able to determine if a directory operation
  [RFC2251] would successful complete or not without having the normal
  effect of the operation take place.  For example, an administrative
  client might want to verify that new user could update their entry
  (and not other entries) without the directory actually being updated.
  The mechanism could be used to build more sophisticated security
  auditing tools.

  This document defines the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
  [RFC3377] No-Op control.  The presence of the No-Op control in an
  operation request message disables the normal effect upon the
  directory which operation would otherwise have.  Instead of updating
  the directory and return the normal indication of success, the server
  does not update the directory and indicates so by returning the
  noOperation resultCode (introduced below).

  For example, when the No-Op control is present in a LDAP modify
  operation [RFC2251], the server is do all processing necessary to
  perform the operation without actually updating the directory.  If it
  detects an error during this processing, it returns a non-success
  (other than noOperation) resultCode as it normally would.  Otherwise,
  it returns the noOperation.  In either case, the directory is left

  This No-Op control is not intended to be to an "effective access"
  mechanism [RFC2820, U12].

1.1.  Terminology

  The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
  document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119].

  DN stands for Distinguished Name.
  DSA stands for Directory System Agent.
  DSE stands for DSA-specific entry.

2.  No-Op Control

  The No-Op control is an LDAP Control [RFC2251] whose controlType is
  IANA-ASSIGNED-OID and controlValue is absent.  Clients MUST provide a
  criticality value of TRUE to prevent unintended modification of the

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  The control is appropriate for request messages of LDAP Add, Delete,
  Modify and ModifyDN operations [RFC2251].  There is no corresponding
  response control.

  When the control is attached to an LDAP request, the server does all
  normal processing possible for the operation without modification of
  the directory.  That is, when the control is attached to an LDAP
  request, the directory SHALL NOT be updated and the response SHALL NOT
  have a resultCode of success (0).

  A result code other than noOperation (IANA-ASSIGNED-CODE) means that
  the server is not able or willing to complete the processing for the
  reason indicated by the result code.  A result code of noOperation
  (IANA-ASSIGNED-CODE) indicates that the server discovered no reason
  why the operation would fail if submitted without the No-Op control.

  Servers SHOULD indicate their support for this control by providing
  IANA-ASSIGNED-OID as a value of the 'supportedControl' attribute type
  in their root DSE entry.  A server MAY choose to advertise this
  extension only when the client is authorized to use this operation.

3.  Security Considerations

  The No-Op control mechanism allows directory administrators and users
  to verify that access control and other administrative policy controls
  are properly configured.  The mechanism may also lead to the
  development (and deployment) of more effective security auditing

  The No-Op control mechanism is believed not to introduce any security
  risks beyond those of the base operation it is attached to.  Security
  considerations for the base operations, as well as general LDAP
  security considerations, are discussed in RFCs comprising the LDAP
  Technical Specification [RFC3377].

4.  IANA Considerations

4.1.  Object Identifier

  It is requested that IANA assign an LDAP Object Identifier [RFC3383]
  to identify the LDAP No-Op Control defined in this document.

      Subject: Request for LDAP Object Identifier Registration
      Person & email address to contact for further information:
          Kurt Zeilenga <>
      Specification: RFC XXXX

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      Author/Change Controller: IESG
          Identifies the LDAP No-Op Control

4.2  LDAP Protocol Mechanism

  Registration of this protocol mechanism is requested [RFC3383].

  Subject: Request for LDAP Protocol Mechanism Registration
  Object Identifier: IANA-ASSIGNED-OID
  Description: No-Op Control
  Person & email address to contact for further information:
      Kurt Zeilenga <>
  Usage: Control
  Specification: RFC XXXX
  Author/Change Controller: IESG
  Comments: none

4.3  LDAP Result Code

  Assignment of an LDAP Result Code called 'noOperation' is requested.

      Subject: LDAP Result Code Registration
      Person & email address to contact for further information:
          Kurt Zeilenga <>
      Result Code Name: noOperation
      Specification: RFC XXXX
      Author/Change Controller: IESG
      Comments:  none

5.  Author's Address

  Kurt D. Zeilenga
  OpenLDAP Foundation

6. Normative References

  [RFC2119]     Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                Requirement Levels", BCP 14 (also RFC 2119), March 1997.

  [RFC2251]     Wahl, M., T. Howes and S. Kille, "Lightweight Directory
                Access Protocol (v3)", RFC 2251, December 1997.

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  [RFC3377]     Hodges, J. and R. Morgan, "Lightweight Directory Access
                Protocol (v3): Technical Specification", RFC 3377,
                September 2002.

7. Informative References

  [X.500]       International Telecommunication Union -
                Telecommunication Standardization Sector, "The Directory
                -- Overview of concepts, models and services,"
                X.500(1993) (also ISO/IEC 9594-1:1994).

  [RFC2820]     Stokes, E., et. al., "Access Control Requirements for
                LDAP", RFC 2820, May 2000.

  [RFC3383]     Zeilenga, K., "IANA Considerations for LDAP", BCP 64
                (also RFC 3383), September 2002.

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Full Copyright

  Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). All Rights Reserved.

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