SQL Directory Browser

SQL Directory Browser

The SQL Directory Browser, first released by Octet String and now owned by Oracle, is a vey powerful tool for building virtual directories. This browser has several features that most LDAP Directory Browsers have, as well as a few extra features that make it well suited for working with virtual directories (and notably MyVirtualDirectory).

  1. Multiple browser tabs - The SQL Directory Browser supports multiple browsers in a single window with tabs (much like firefox). This is very useful when working with virtual directories as you are generally working with multiple directories and databases to integrate them.
  2. Relational Database Support - In addition to working with directories, this browser will interact with not only directories, but also with any JDBC accessible relational database (such as MySQL, SQL Server, etc, etc...).
  3. Web Services Support - The SQL Directory Browser can work with DSMLv2 enabled services (Such as Tivoli Identity Manager) and SPML enabled services such as Sun's and Oracle's Identity Manager.
  4. Multiple Data Views - In addition to the classic tree view, the SQL Directory Browser will also show a table form of search results.
  5. Use either SQL or Directory Dialogs - What truly makes this browser unique is that it is built using the JDBC-LDAP Bridge, so you can eiher use SQL or typical directory manipulation dialogs.


The SQL Directory Browser has several components as marked below:

SQL Directory Browser Main Window
  1. Browser Tabs - Use these tabs to switch between browsers
  2. Tree / Table View Tabs - Use these tabs to switch between the tree or table views of a search result
  3. SQL Box - This is where you would type in the SQL to execute
  4. Command History - This list tracks what commands have been executed

Connecting to a Directory

Connecting to a directory is straightforward. First click the "New" button:

New Browser

Once you click "New" a dialog will pop-up asking for connection information:

Connection Window

The first item is a name for this connection. Once you complete the connection information you can save the connection information for use again later. The window has the typical directory connection options. Leave the Base blank to be able to view all bases from the RootDSE. In addition you can specify if the connection is secure or additional URL options as specified in the JDBC-LDAP Bridge documentation.

In addition to specifying directory information, you can instead choose to make this connection a JDBC, DSMLv2 or SPML connection. When you click on any of these options the screen will change to reflect the connection type.

Performing Searches

In addition to walking through the directory using the browser, the SQL Directory Browser provides a powerful search capability. There are two ways to search:

  1. Use the LDAP Search Dialog
  2. Enter SQL into the SQL Box

In either case once the search is performed there are two ways to view the results. The first, and more traditional, view is the Tree view that shows results based on where they fit in the directory's DIT:

Tree Base Search Results

The SQL Directory Browser will also display results using a table form. This shows much more data in a single view and can be useful when trying to compare entries.

Table Base Search Results

SQL Searches

In order to perform an SQL search simply type in your SQL into the SQL box and click "Execute". You can either specify the search scope in the SQL or click on one of the scopes at the bottom of the browser. The SQL will be recorded in your history list.

LDAP Dialog Searches

If SQL isn't to your taste, you can use the typical directory search daialog by right clicking on your search base and selecting "Generate Search SQL..." which will present you with the following dialog:

Enter your search criteria and select "OK". Once run this dialog will generate the SQL for your search and run it for you, storing the SQL in your history window.

Exporting Search Results

In addition to viewing the results of your search in the browser, the SQL Directory Browser allows you to export the results of a search to either a CSV file or an LDIF File (for LDAP, DSMLv2 and SPML results only).

Updating the Directory

While the SQL Directory Browser is an effective tool for browsing and searching the directory, it is also a powerful tool for updating a directory. The SQL Directory Browser can be used to update a standard LDAP directory or database as well as used for a tool to test Identity Management systems and workflows via DSMLv2 and SPML.

Using SQL To Update the Directory

Just as with searches, the SQL Directory Browser allows you to enter SQL to update the directory or database in the SQL box.

Add Dialog

The Add dialog allows you to perform an add to the directory using a typical LDAP gui. When creating an entry using the dialog, right click on the base where you wish to add the entry and select "Generate ADD SQL...". The above dialog will appear. First specify the RDN attribute and value. Then click on the "+" button to add attributes and their values. You can edit the attribute name and value inside of the table like a spreadsheet.

Modify Dialog

In order to modify an entry, right click on the entry you wish to modify and select "Generate SQL to Modify...". The above dialog will appear. Specify the attribute, value and change type and select "+" to add the modification. When done select "Generate SQL" to perform the modification.

Deleting an Entry

There is no dialog to delete an entry. To delete an entry right click on it and select "Generate SQL to Delete...".

Browsing Databases

While the SQL Directory Browser was first designed to work only with directories, it will work with relational databases as well. In order to connect to a database the first step is to copy the jar file containing the JDBC drivers to $HOME/jdbcDrivers. Once this is done, start the SQL Directory Browser and create a new connection.

Specifying a DB Connection

When the dialog appears, click on "JDBC Connection" and specify the driver and url to connect with

DB Browser

Like when browsing directories, the SQL Directory Browser provides two views. The first is the meta data view that shows all tables and views as well as the fieds for each table when you click on it.

DB Search Results

When you execute an SQL search when browsing a database, the results are shown as a table under the table view.


You can control a few aspects of how the SQL Directory Browser works through the preferences dialog. There are several options:

Option Description Default Value
Maximum Number of Entries The maximum number of entries to return from a directory, 0 for no limit 0
JDBC Driver Path The path that holds the jar files containing jdbc drivers $HOME/jdbcDrivers
Maximum Time Per Operation The amount of time the browser should wait until it times out, 0 meaning no time-out 0
Number of Statements to Store in History The number of SQL statements to store in the history list 5
Auto Execute SQL from dialogs Determines if SQL from dialogs should be immediately executed. Checked