ADSI - This is an acronym for Active Directory Service Interface. A library of routines that provide an interface to various directories, such as the Windows NT user account database and Active Directory. ADSI can be used in VBScript, Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, and other environments. Besides NT and Active Directory, ADSI also supports Novell bindery, Novell NDS, Internet Information Server (IIS), and other LDAP compliant directories.

LDAP - This stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. A language based on the X.500 directory standard that allows clients and servers to communicate. The LDAP provider allows access to the hierarchical structure of Active directory. However, the Windows NT user account database (the SAM account database on local computers) is not LDAP compliant.

WinNT - Windows NT namespace provider, supporting the Windows NT user account database. The WinNT provider can also be used to access Active Directory, but it exposes it as a flat namespace.

WSH - Windows Script Host, an ActiveX scripting host providing an environment for the execution of scripts using one of several scripting engines or languages, such as VBScript. WSH is included with Windows 2000 and above. It can be installed on older Windows 32-bit clients. WSH has two applications, cscript.exe and wscript.exe. Cscript executes scripts in a command line environment, while wscript executes scripts in a GUI environment.

VBScript - Visual Basic Script Edition, a subset of the Visual Basic language. Programs written in VBScript are saved in files with the .VBS extension. VBScript programs can be run with either of the two host programs, cscript.exe or wscript.exe.

PowerShell - Microsoft's new scripting language and command line shell, based on C# and the Microsoft .NET Framework. PowerShell statements can be entered one at a time in the PowerShell command line shell, or in a script with the statements saved in a file with .ps1 extension.

Directory Service - Repository of network operating system information to manage users and resources in a network.

Active Directory - Microsoft's directory service database for Windows 2000, 2003, and 2008 networks. Stores information about resources on the network and provides a means of centrally organizing, managing, and controlling access to the resources. Recently, this has been called Active Directory Domain Services, or AD DS. Microsoft also has a product called Active Directory Lightweight Domain Services, or AD LDS (formerly called Active Directory Application Mode, or ADAM).

AD DS - Acronym for Active Directory Directory Services.

AD LDS - Acronym for Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services. This used to be called Active Directory Application Mode, or ADAM.

ADO - Acronym for ActiveX Data Objects. ADSI can act as an OLE-DB provider that allows database queries of Active Directory using ADO. Searches using ADO are only allowed in the LDAP namespace. For more information, see ADO Search Tips.

WMI - Acronym for Windows Management Instrumentation. WMI is a new management technology allowing scripts to monitor and control managed resources throughout the network. Resources include hard drives, file systems, operating system settings, processes, services, shares, registry settings, networking components, event logs, users, and groups. WMI is built into clients with Windows 2000 or above, and can be installed on any other 32-bit Windows client.

ADsPath - A string that specifies an object in Active Directory or the NT SAM account database. In Active Directory, the ADsPath includes the provider (either "LDAP://" or "WinNT://") and the path to the object in Active Directory. Using the LDAP provider, this path includes the Distinguished Name of the object.

Distinguished Name - A string that uniquely identifies an object in Active Directory. Used by the LDAP provider to bind to the object. The Distinguished Name, sometimes abbreviated DN, specifies the name of the object (the Relative Distinguished Name) and the location of the object in the hierarchical structure of Active Directory. The DN of any object is a string of Relative Distinguished Names separated by commas.

Relative Distinguished Name - The name of an object in Active Directory relative to it's location in the hierarchical structure of AD. The Relative Distinguished Name, sometimes abbreviated RDN, will be the lowest level component of the Distinguished Name. The RDN must be unique in the container (or OU), while the DN will be unique in the forest.