A metadirectory is a centralized directory service that consolidates and manages information from multiple sources, such as databases, directory services, and applications. It facilitates streamlined data synchronization, improved data consistency, and reduced data redundancy across systems. This enables organizations to have a unified view of user identities and access rights, simplifying identity and access management.

Key Takeaways

  1. Metadirectory is a centralized directory service that consolidates and manages multiple directories from different sources, such as LDAP, Active Directory, or database systems.
  2. It helps to improve directory data integrity, accessibility, and synchronization, which in turn enable efficient user management, policy implementation, and identity management across the organization.
  3. Metadirectory systems can also provide additional functionality such as single sign-on (SSO), role-based access control, and attribute-based access control, making them important components in enterprise IT infrastructure and security.


Metadirectory is an important technology term because it refers to a centralized directory that consolidates and manages information from various data sources, providing a unified view and access to that information.

This plays a crucial role in information management, where organizations often deal with multiple directories and systems.

By streamlining the process of searching, retrieving, and synchronizing data, metadirectory enhances operational efficiency, security, and data integrity.

Furthermore, it enables organizations to maintain better control over user access and privileges, simplifying administrative tasks, and fostering data-driven decision-making.


Metadirectory technology serves as a critical component within the realm of information management, predominantly in how it supports the centralization, integration, and synchronization of data. The primary purpose of a metadirectory is to consolidate and store heterogeneous data from various sources, such as databases, applications, and external systems within an organization.

By creating a central repository that houses a unified view of data attributes and identities across diverse systems, metadirectories enable efficient data sharing and provide a reliable source of truth. This, in turn, enhances the organization’s ability to make informed decisions and streamline their data management processes, while reducing redundancy and minimizing data discrepancies.

Additionally, metadirectory technology is crucial in simplifying identity management and ensuring the security of sensitive data within enterprises. An integral aspect of its function involves the synchronization of information through data connectors and mechanisms, which allows for frequent updates and alignment of data from multiple sources.

As a result, metadirectories greatly enhance operational efficiency by offering an organized structure that empowers administrators to easily locate, access, and manage user permissions and access controls across systems. Ultimately, metadirectories play a significant role in bolstering the cohesion and collaboration among various platforms, fostering seamless and secure data workflows that drive better business outcomes.

Examples of Metadirectory

A metadirectory is a centralized directory that consolidates data from multiple sources, providing a unified view of information across diverse systems and applications. It integrates, organizes, and manages data from different data sources, making it easier for users to find and access the desired information. Here are three real-world examples of metadirectory implementations:

Microsoft Meta-directory Services (MMS): MMS is a software solution developed by Microsoft that allows organizations to synchronize information across disparate directories and databases. MMS integrates data from systems like Microsoft Active Directory, Novell eDirectory, LDAP directories, human resources applications, and other data repositories, providing a single, unified view of an organization’s data resources. This can help streamline identity management, simplify access control, and improve data consistency across the enterprise.

RadiantOne Virtual Directory Server (VDS): RadiantLogic’s VDS is a metadirectory solution that supports data integration and virtualization from multiple systems and applications. VDS enables organizations to integrate and manage data from various sources, like Active Directory, LDAP, SQL databases, and enterprise applications, creating a unified, virtualized directory view of the information. This can help address complex identity and access management scenarios, supporting business processes that require aggregating and transforming data from multiple sources.

One Identity Manager: One Identity Manager, a solution provided by One Identity, offers a metadirectory along with identity and access management capabilities. It consolidates data from different sources like Active Directory, LDAP, human resources systems, and other applications into a centralized metadirectory. This integrated view enables businesses to streamline identity and access management processes, automate user provisioning and deprovisioning, and maintain a consistent and up-to-date view of their information resources.

Metadirectory FAQ

1. What is a Metadirectory?

A metadirectory is a type of software solution that consolidates and manages multiple directories, databases, and other information sources into a single, unified interface. It enables seamless integration and synchronization of data across these different environments, thereby simplifying the management of user identities, access rights, and other critical information.

2. What are the main advantages of a Metadirectory?

The main advantages of a metadirectory include centralized management of distributed data, improved data consistency and integrity, simplified administration, better security, and easier integration of diverse systems and applications.

3. What are some common use cases for Metadirectories?

Common use cases for metadirectories involve managing user identities, access rights, and group memberships in organizations with complex IT environments. This can include synchronization of multiple directory services, integration of new applications or databases, and supporting federated identity management and single sign-on solutions.

4. How does a Metadirectory differ from a traditional directory service?

A traditional directory service stores and manages user and resource information in a single directory. A metadirectory, on the other hand, integrates and synchronizes data from multiple directories, databases, and other information sources, providing a consolidated view and management interface for all integrated systems.

5. Which technologies are typically used in a Metadirectory?

Metadirectories often utilize technologies such as directory synchronization, data mapping and transformation, connectors or agents for different data sources, and support for standard protocols like LDAP, OAuth, and SAML for communication and integration with third-party systems.

6. What are the potential risks associated with Metadirectories?

Potential risks associated with metadirectories include increased complexity in system management, the potential for data inconsistencies if not properly synchronized and managed, and potential security concerns related to the consolidation of sensitive user and resource data.

7. How to choose the right Metadirectory solution for an organization?

To choose the right metadirectory solution, organizations should evaluate their specific requirements, available budget, and compatibility with existing systems and infrastructure. Additionally, they should consider factors like scalability, ease of use, vendor support, and the ongoing maintenance and evolution of the solution.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Synchronization
  • Identity Management
  • Directory Services
  • Schema Mapping
  • Attribute Aggregation

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