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Analyze LDAP Objects in R

Create data visualizations and use high-performance statistical functions to analyze LDAP objects in Microsoft R Open.

Access LDAP objects with pure R script and standard SQL. You can use the CData ODBC Driver for LDAP and the RODBC package to work with remote LDAP objects in R. By using the CData Driver, you are leveraging a driver written for industry-proven standards to access your data in the popular, open-source R language. This article shows how to use the driver to execute SQL queries to LDAP objects and visualize LDAP objects in R.

Install R

You can complement the driver's performance gains from multi-threading and managed code by running the multithreaded Microsoft R Open or by running R linked with the BLAS/LAPACK libraries. This article uses Microsoft R Open (MRO).

Connect to LDAP as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to LDAP follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

To establish a connection, the following properties under the Authentication section must be provided:

  • Valid User and Password credentials (e.g., Domain\BobF or cn=Bob F,ou=Employees,dc=Domain).
  • Server information, including the IP or host name of the Server, as well as the Port.
  • BaseDN: This will limit the scope of LDAP searches to the height of the distinguished name provided.

    Note: Specifying a narrow BaseDN may greatly increase performance; for example, cn=users,dc=domain will only return results contained within cn=users and its children.

When you configure the DSN, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

Windows

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for LDAP in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData LDAP Source] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for LDAP Description = My Description User = Domain\BobF Password = bob123456 Server = 10.0.1.1 Port = 389

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Load the RODBC Package

To use the driver, download the RODBC package. In RStudio, click Tools -> Install Packages and enter RODBC in the Packages box.

After installing the RODBC package, the following line loads the package:

library(RODBC)

Note: This article uses RODBC version 1.3-12. Using Microsoft R Open, you can test with the same version, using the checkpoint capabilities of Microsoft's MRAN repository. The checkpoint command enables you to install packages from a snapshot of the CRAN repository, hosted on the MRAN repository. The snapshot taken Jan. 1, 2016 contains version 1.3-12.

library(checkpoint) checkpoint("2016-01-01")

Connect to LDAP Objects as an ODBC Data Source

You can connect to a DSN in R with the following line:

conn <- odbcConnect("CData LDAP Source")

Schema Discovery

The driver models LDAP APIs as relational tables, views, and stored procedures. Use the following line to retrieve the list of tables:

sqlTables(conn)

Execute SQL Queries

Use the sqlQuery function to execute any SQL query supported by the LDAP API.

user <- sqlQuery(conn, "SELECT Id, LogonCount FROM User", believeNRows=FALSE, rows_at_time=1)

You can view the results in a data viewer window with the following command:

View(user)

Plot LDAP Objects

You can now analyze LDAP objects with any of the data visualization packages available in the CRAN repository. You can create simple bar plots with the built-in bar plot function:

par(las=2,ps=10,mar=c(5,15,4,2)) barplot(user$LogonCount, main="LDAP User", names.arg = user$Id, horiz=TRUE)