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Attributes for AD Users : objectCategory

The Active Directory attribute objectClass helps in the classification of user objects in the clas hierachy of the Active Directory schema. It can be considered as an add-on to the object class information which is stored in the attribute "objectClass".


LDAP name objectCategory
Data type String
Multivalue (Array) No
System Flags


Search Flags 0x01
In Global Catalog? Yes
Attribute ID 1.2.840.113556.1.4.782
AD DB attribute name Object-Category
ADSI datatype 1 - Object(DS-DN)
LDAP syntax - DN
Used in ... > W2K
Schema Info Microsoft - MSDN

The attribute objectCategory is according to it's data type a distinguished name (DN). For example, a typical content would be


The most frequent use of objectCategory is in LDAP filters. It's a bit strange that in the filter syntax, you can use a for an objectCategory value the pure category name (actuallay, this would be the relative distinguished name of the category):


Note: If you use the LDAP filter "(objectClass=user)" to search the directory for user objects, you get as a result user AND computer objects. This is because computer objects have (amongst others) the objectclass "user", too. The filter for the "real" users should be like this: "((&objectClass=user)(objectCategory=Person))" . You can get more information about this point in the SelfADSI tutorial in topic "Searching Objects".