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Also, it allows management and storage of information, provides authentication and authorization mechanisms, and establishes a framework to deploy other related services: Certificate Services, Federated Services, Lightweight Directory Services and Rights Management Services.
For example, when a user logs into a computer that is part of a Windows domain, Active Directory checks the submitted password and determines whether the user is a system administrator or normal user.
It can create, validate and revoke public key certificates for internal uses of an organization.
These certificates can be used to encrypt files (when used with Encrypting File System), emails (per S/MIME standard), and network traffic (when used by virtual private networks, Transport Layer Security protocol or IPSec protocol).
The LDAP concept began to emerge even before the founding of Microsoft in April 1975, with RFCs as early as 1971.
RFCs contributing to LDAP include RFC 1823 (on the LDAP API, August 1995), Microsoft previewed Active Directory in 1999, released it first with Windows 2000 Server edition, and revised it to extend functionality and improve administration in Windows Server 2003.
As the name suggests, AD FS works based on the concept of federated identity.