Apache Directory Server™

An embeddable LDAP directory server in Java® for prototyping, testing, and small deployments.
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A Java-based LDAP server that’s compact, powerful, and well supported.

What You Can Do With It

  • Quickly deploy an LDAP server for prototyping, testing, and small client environments
  • Easily add an embedded LDAP server to your own Java applications
  • Get 9-5 Business Hours or 24x7x365 Critical Issue support plans
  • Enjoy global support coverage through Symas and its partners


More About ApacheDS

ApacheDS is an LDAP v3-compliant server with an extensible, embeddable architecture. It has a built-in Kerberos 5 Key Distribution Center and Ticket Granting and Authentication Servers. With full multi-master replication based on RFC 4533 and compatibility with OpenLDAP replication, it’s a good fit for environments where OpenLDAP plays a role. Finally, its close affinity with the Apache Directory Studio™ LDAP browser/editor means that it can be configured easily in a graphical environment.

Main Uses

This server is mainly used in development and testing environments, Java applications where an embedded LDAP directory server is desired, and micro-environments with relaxed service requirements.

You can put it to work in several different ways:

  • Run it as a stand-alone LDAP server for micro-environments
  • Use it to prototype and test your OpenLDAP server environment
  • Embed it in your Java application and leverage its client and server APIs

Dedicated Support Team

We offer annual subscriptions to those requiring fast responses, uptime, and technical support from actual experts.

Platform Compatibility

ApacheDS will run on all platforms that are supported by the Java 8 runtime environment.


Source code and binary installers for Linux, MacOS, and Windows are hosted at The Apache Software Foundation and are available for download.

Apache Directory Server™ vs  Symas OpenLDAP Gold

Apache Directory Server™

Intended to work as a server for very small environments with relaxed service requirements. Or as an embedded LDAP server.

Symas OpenLDAP Gold

Designed for large-scale, mission-critical deployments. It has performance, stability, and feature enhancements that are not yet available in stock OpenLDAP. The SLA is designed with those mission-critical applications in mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What database engine does ApacheDS use?

ApacheDS uses JDBM, a popular Embedded key-value Java database.

What's the difference between Symas OpenLDAP and the ApacheDS?

Symas OpenLDAP is designed for enterprise-scale deployments, while ApacheDS is intended to work as an embedded LDAP server, or as a server for very small environments with relaxed service requirements.

What makes Symas so well qualified to support ApacheDS?

Symas engineers have developed significant portions of the Apache Directory Server, and our support staff has been supporting directories in the field for many years.

Do I have to purchase support from Symas or pay a fee to use the Apache Directory Server?

No. The Apache Directory Server is licensed under the Apache License 2.0 and is free to use. However, support from Symas does require a contract.

Are there any other fees I might have to pay to use ApacheDS?

Maybe. ApacheDS requires a Java Runtime Environment or Java Development Kit, and some of those — the JRE/JDK by Oracle, for example — have stringent fee-based license requirements. You alone must determine your compliance with the JRE/JDK license that you use with ApacheDS.