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Is active directory hierarchical database or what else kind of database?

what kind of database is AD ?
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Quote: "the directory database is flat, with no hierarchical namespace"

Reference: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc772829(WS.10).aspx
It is based on ESE (Extensible Storage Engine) which extends on demand.

Read http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc961767.aspx for more details.
From CertExpert's link: "Active Directory is implemented on top of an indexed sequential access method (ISAM) table manager.  This database is a version of the ESE database that is used by Microsoft® Exchange Server version 5.5 client/server messaging and groupware."
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