IT Services

Oak LDAP Service

1. Introduction

Oak LDAP is designed to support user authorisation and the lookup of basic attributes such as unique identifiers by IT service providers within the University. It is part of the Oak access management suite, and takes the form of a highly available directory service offering data about people, groups, and units.

Oak LDAP is accessed using the lightweight directory access protocol. The structure and availability of data is defined by the Schema and Attribute Release Policy. The service has been designed to be particularly suitable for use in conjunction with the Kerberos/Webauth authentication services and the preferred means of authenticating to the Oak LDAP service is Kerberos.

Registered ITSS are entitled to register services for access to Oak LDAP.

This service is owned by the Systems Development and Support Section Manager and was released for general use in 2008.

A full service description is available from

1.1. User Support

This service is provided to organisational units of the University of Oxford via their ITSS.

ITSS may always contact OUCS about any aspect of the service.

The initial point of contact for ITSS support at OUCS is the Systems Development and Support Section, by email to

2. Summary of OUCS’s responsibilities

Hours of Service

2.1 The service is offered as follows:

2.2 OUCS will commence investigation of reported faults within one hour when full technical support is available (provided that no similar fault is already being handled by the same team).

Service Level Targets

2.3 It is intended, as far as is possible, to maintain service availability at all times apart from exclusions listed under 2.1, however there are no formal targets.

Disaster Recovery

2.4 This service is classified as "critical" to University mission and will be recovered as a first priority, and within 4 hours when full technical support is available.

2.5 Recovery will restore directory functionality using data retrived from backup (less than 1 day old). Recovery may not include other functions such as the ability to add or change clients or process source data changes.

2.6 There is no alternative service, however some individual systems may support alternative authorisation configurations such as the creation of local user data to enable access in the event of an extended outage.

Administration and Support

2.7 All support (operations and 1st/2nd/3rd line support for ITSS) for the service is provided by OUCS as described above.

2.8 Notification of scheduled maintenance, outages, and other information of general interest in relation to the service will be circulated on the itss-announce and oak-ldap mailing lists.

2.9 Service requests and fault reports relating to the service should be sent to the OUCS Help Desk.

2.10 Requests to register a service for access to Oak LDAP should be sent by email to and will normally be fulfilled within one working day.

2.11 Information for departmental and college system administrators is given at OUCS also manages an email list, for open discussion about the service.

Management of Change

2.12 Requests for change to the service should be sent by email to

Reporting and Review

2.13 Service usage information will be reported annually in the OUCS Annual Report.

2.14 The service will be reviewed annually. The review will provide input to the service level description review, normally carried out in May of each year.

3. Summary of client’s responsibilities

3.1 Users are responsible for ensuring that this service is suitable for their needs.

3.2 Use of this service is subject to, and implies, acceptance of any applicable regulations, including but not limited to:

3.3 All use of the service must be in compliance with with the Terms of Usage.

3.4 Service providers wishing to use Oak LDAP must register their services as Oak LDAP data consumers.

3.5 Users should report any defect, malfunction, or performance degradation of the service promptly to enable remedial action to be taken.

3.6 Managers of services which depend on Oak LDAP are responsible for the suitability, correct configuration, and maintenance of any client software used to interact with this service. In particular this includes ensuring that LDAP clients have a suitable fail-over configuration where required.

4. Premium services

None applicable.