Microsoft KB Archive/246437

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XGEN: Slow Access to User List When You Use the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC Snap-in

Article ID: 246437

Article Last Modified on 2/27/2007


  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q246437


Using the Active Directory User and Computer Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in to manage users in a large Exchange organization can be very cumbersome because of the slow response of the MMC snap-in. The cause for this behavior is largely blamed on MMC and its inability to deal with the large results to a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query.

The actual cause for the problem is the implementation of the LDAP protocol itself and, more specifically, lies in the inability of LDAP servers to support cursor semantics. The net effect is that for results from a sorted LDAP search request, all of the results must be downloaded and kept in memory on the client if you need to scroll the result set. This involves a large amount of memory usage when trying to browse large result sets and also makes the process extremely slow.

The LDAP community is actively working on an extension to LDAPv3 under the auspices of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). This extension, called the Virtual List View control extension, will make it possible for a client and server to interact closely, and for the client to specify that the server return the search result set in the form of contiguous subsets rather than a whole.


To gather more information on the status of the extension to LDAPv3, refer to the LDAP Extensions for Scrolling View Browsing of Search Results document available at the following Web site:

The implementation of a solution to the present problem is expected in the near future. However, the intermediate solution for large organizations is to partition the users into organizational units (OUs) and manage accordingly.

Keywords: kbinfo KB246437