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How do i get all users that belongs to a group (nestled?

Posted on 2008-10-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hello!
I'm having a problem getting all users that belong to a group in AD, I want all users even the ones from the "subgroups" (nestled?).

Im using Visual Studio 2005  (.net 2.0) and Active Directory 2003. I know that I have to use some recursive method but I dont know where to begin.

Cheers Ola
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Question by:Ola_Adolfsson
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Chris Dent earned 125 total points
ID: 22648318

Hey again Ola,

I thought this was the same as your last question for a moment :)

It's almost the same as the last, the difference is we need to introduce object class checking before we recurse through the members.

And we need to introduce a limitation that I didn't raise last time:

The Primary group on an account is not reflected in either the memberOf or member attributes instead it is set by primaryGroupToken on the group and primaryGroupID on the user. Normally this only means we have to worry about Domain Users, but in some cases the Primary Group is changed. Is chasing down membership and nested membership of the Primary group a requirement?

Here's the first sample, by recursion. It's not exactly fast.

Chris
        private void button1_Click_1(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            String baseGroup = "CN=Some Group,OU=Imported,OU=Groups,DC=corp,DC=monitise,DC=net";
 
            label1.Text = "";
            GetMembers(baseGroup);
        }
 
        protected void GetMembers(string objectDN)
        {
            DirectoryEntry currentObject = new DirectoryEntry("LDAP://" + objectDN);
 
            foreach (object groupMember in currentObject.Properties["member"])
            {
                String groupMemberDN = groupMember.ToString();
                DirectoryEntry memberObject = new DirectoryEntry("LDAP://" + groupMemberDN);
                if (memberObject.Properties["objectClass"][1].ToString() == "group")
                {
                    GetMembers(groupMemberDN);
                }
                else
                {
                    label1.Text = label1.Text + groupMemberDN + "\n";
                }
            }
        }

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by:Chris Dent
ID: 22648347

And this version covers the pure LDAP version, in the same way as before this is limited to Windows 2003 SP1 and above (but is much less complex).

Chris
        private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            String domainGroup = "CN=Some Group,OU=Imported,OU=Groups,DC=corp,DC=monitise,DC=net";
 
            DirectoryEntry domainRoot = new DirectoryEntry();
            String filter = "(memberOf:1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941:=" + domainGroup + ")";
            DirectorySearcher domainSearch = new DirectorySearcher(domainRoot, filter);
 
            SearchResultCollection domainSearchResults = domainSearch.FindAll();
 
            label1.Text = "";
            foreach (SearchResult domainSearchResult in domainSearchResults)
            {
                label1.Text = label1.Text + domainSearchResult.Properties["distinguishedName"][0].ToString();
                label1.Text = label1.Text + "\n";
            }
        }

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Author Comment

by:Ola_Adolfsson
ID: 22648858
Hello again Sage ;)
I tried your first solution and it works fine. But I want only the users, now I get users and computers;).
I guess that I can check the ["objectClass"] if its a computer but is there a better way? Which of these solutions do you recommend?

Cheers Ola
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 22648933

The second one would allow immediate filtering, it's by far the simpler of the two so if you can use that one I do advise it.

It we take that one as an example all we'd have to do is extend the filter to this:

            String filter = "(&(objectClass=computer)(memberOf:1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941:=" + domainGroup + "))";

For the first we're stuck with checking the objectClass or performing a new search (which may actually be quicker / neater), let me have a quick check on that.

Chris
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Author Comment

by:Ola_Adolfsson
ID: 22649826
Hi Chris!
Does the second solution provide nestled search?

Cheers Ola
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 22650537

It does, yes. All of the above do :)

Let me just pop the last version together so you can try each out. It just reduces the number of connections to AD (at the moment it's one per group member).

Chris
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Dent
ID: 22650847

Hmm okay, here's the update. I'm still not convinced about the speed of the search, it seems slow. If the OID based query works for you I'd stick with that (that's the one with "1.2.840.113556.1.4.1941" in it).

Otherwise, this is a modification on the recursive method. Fewer connections to AD, but each carries a higher cost, it doesn't really give us much of a performance gain (if any). It could well be that it's just a limitation of my ability to program despite being an admin.

Chris
        private void button1_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        {
            String baseGroup = "CN=Some Group,OU=Groups,DC=domain,DC=com";
            // A connection to the domain root as a search base
            DirectoryEntry domainObject = new DirectoryEntry();
 
            label1.Text = "";
            GetMembers(baseGroup, domainObject);
        }
 
        protected void GetMembers(string objectDN, DirectoryEntry domainObject)
        {
            // Search to get nested groups in current group
 
            String groupFilter = "(&(objectClass=group)(memberOf=" + objectDN + "))";
            DirectorySearcher groupSearch = new DirectorySearcher(domainObject, groupFilter);
            SearchResultCollection groupResults = groupSearch.FindAll();
            
            foreach (SearchResult groupResult in groupResults)
            {
                // Recurse
                GetMembers(groupResult.Properties["distinguishedname"][0].ToString(), domainObject);
            }
 
            // Search to get members (computers) in current group
 
            String computerFilter = "((objectClass=computer)(memberOf=" + objectDN + "))";
            DirectorySearcher computerSearch = new DirectorySearcher(domainObject, computerFilter);
            SearchResultCollection computerResults = computerSearch.FindAll();
 
            foreach (SearchResult computerResult in computerResults)
            {
                label1.Text = label1.Text + computerResult.Properties["distinguishedName"][0].ToString() + "\n";
            }
        }

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