New in Windows Server 2003 - Schema redefine

By Bryan Muehlberger, ITworld |  How-to

In the previous version of Active Directory (AD) that was introduced
with Windows 2000 Server, it was not possible to disable/redefine an
attribute in the Schema. However, with the new version of Active
Directory that's included in the release of Windows Server 2003, you now
have the ability to disable/redefine attributes in Active Directory.

We do not have room to go into all of the details about the Active
Directory Schema, but at the most basic level, every object in Active
Directory is an instance of an object class, which is defined in the
Active Directory schema. The definition for each object class contains
a list of the attributes that are used to describe instances of the
class. For example, the User class has attributes such as givenName or
streetAddress. The schema also formally defines each attribute. The
definition for each attribute includes unique identifiers for the
attribute, the syntax for the attribute, etc.

If you install an application and realize that an attribute that needs
to be added by the application is colliding with an existing attribute
(one that should not be in your AD Schema), you now have the ability to
disable/redefine the attributed. However, all of your domain
controllers within the forest must be running Windows 2003 Server. In
addition, this functionality is only available to forests raised to the
Windows 2003 functional level - which can be done through Active
Directory Domains and Trusts MMC snap-in. To disable/redefine an
attribute in the AD Schema, you can use the Active Directory Schema MMC
snap-in, open the attribute that is causing problems and uncheck the
option "Attribute is active". It is as simple as that. Though the
attribute cannot be deleted from the Schema, at least you can disable it
and move on. I hope that future versions of Active Directory will allow
for deletions - when necessary.

Next week I continue my discussion on the new features in Windows Server

New in Windows Server 2003 :

Domain rename

ADMT 2.0

Active Directory rename

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