Subordinate knowledge information may be provided to delegate a subtree. Subordinate knowledge information is maintained in the directory as a special referral object at the delegate point. The referral object acts as a delegation point, gluing two services together. This mechanism allows for hierarchical directory services to be constructed.
A referral object has a structural object class of referral and has the same Distinguished Name as the delegated subtree. Generally, the referral object will also provide the auxiliary object class extensibleObject. This allows the entry to contain appropriate Relative Distinguished Name values. This is best demonstrated by example.
If the server a.example.net holds dc=example,dc=net and wished to delegate the subtree ou=subtree,dc=example,dc=net to another server b.example.net, the following named referral object would be added to a.example.net:
The server uses this information to generate referrals and search continuations to subordinate servers.
For those familiar with X.500, a named referral object is similar to an X.500 knowledge reference held in a subr DSE.