Steve explained that LDAP is a protocol that allows one system to look up user data in directory. This facilitates single sign-on and other ways to consolidate user information. They are using Active Directory on the backend. Active Directory allows the use of LDAP for access to the directory data using a standard protocol.
Mercyhurst only uses LDAP for authentication, and not for patron creation in Koha. Instead, Rebecca explained, Mercyhurst uses the patron import tool to create the patrons in Koha. She explained that they match on cardnumber for updating existing patron’s.
Rebecca showed the general layout of the CSV file format needed to be uploadable to the Koha patron import tool. Mercyhurst uses a third party tool to pull the data from the LDAP server in order to create this CSV file.
She then detailed the “patron_attributes” field used for extended patron attributes in Koha. This field acts differently than other fields in that it stores multiple values for multiple fields. In their system, they have a CLASS attribute and a GRAD attribute. Since these are not built in patron fields for Koha, they use extended attributes to create and store this information.