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Last Updated January 22, 2004

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Active Directory Books

Active Directory is a new and very important part of any full scale Windows 2000 deployment, and getting it right the first time is crucial. And one the keys to doing it right is having the right reference to work from that will guide your round the common planning mistakes and deployment pitfalls. Here's what we thought of the Active Directory books on the market.

Note: Most links on this page will take you to the book's description on Bookpool is an online bookstore similar to, but they specialize in Technical books (and they are less expensive.) This is not a paid endorsement, and we do not receive sales commissions from We just think they're the best place to buy our books. We hope you'll agree!

Think we missed an exceptional book? Let us know at

Newest Reviews...
Using Active Directory
By Sean Fullerton. Published by Que, March 2001. Paperback, 558 pages. ISBN 0789724340.
As its title implies, this is not a conceptual guide about Active Directory concepts, but a practical, task oriented operations guide to Active Directory designed to walk you through the day to day administration and troubleshooting. The chapters are well organized and logically presented, with plenty of screenshots, "real world" tips, and well written step by step walkthroughs. Topics include installing AD, extensive coverage of DNS, explanations of domains, trees, and forests, operations masters, AD schemas, intra and inter site replication, authentication, group policy, containers and OU's, managing users and objects, database optimization, backup and restore, migrating from WinNT, and basic scripting for AD. The book ends with a look at the future of AD, including Microsoft's next generation operating systems and initiatives including Whistler, Blackcomb, and .NET
Active Directory Books worth reading...

Managing Active Directory for Windows 2000 Server
By Melissa Craft. Published by Syngress, February 2000. Paperback, 494 pages. ISBN 1928994075  A great technical introduction to Active Directory that is ideal for IT professionals who need to build a solid foundation in AD Administration quickly. Far from a being a formal textbook, the author's writing style makes you feel as if she's right there with you going over each item, making the chapters more engaging, interesting, and enjoyable to read. The book is organized logically, beginning with an introduction to AD, followed by deployment and migration, implementation, administration, and disaster recovery. The chapters are well illustrated with line drawings and screenshots, and features summaries and FAQ's to review critical points. Retail price is $49.95, but you can get it for around $29.95 at
Active Directory Services for Microsoft Windows 2000 Technical Reference: The Practical Guide to Planning and Deploying Active Directory Services
By David Iseminger, published by Microsoft Press, February 2000. 464 pages, ISBN 0735606242. The "bible" as far as we're concerned! This book includes all the inside information on AD with plenty of real world examples and hands on exercises. The book is well illustrated and the author provides plenty of tips and call outs throughout. For a technical reference, this book is surprisingly easy to read and we feel it's a must have if you're ready to migrate your NT Domain structure to AD - but it's definitely not a guide for beginners.
Building an Enterprise Active Directory Notes from the Field
Published by Microsoft Press
, February 2000, Paperback 499 pages. ISBN 0735608601. Don't second guess your Active Directory deployment - learn from the experiences of Microsoft Consulting Services. This book is designed for experienced engineers with a solid foundation in Active Directory, and contains all of the nitty-gritty boring details that you'll need to get it right the first time. The chapters on database sizing and traffic analysis are worth the price of the book alone and include scores of tables with real field data. The book also goes in depth into scripting for AD, integrating AD with Exchange and UNIX based DNS environments. Novell NDS, Domain Migration Strategies and Active Directory design are also well covered. The companion CD the MCS deployment template, LDAP utilities, and other tools. 
Mastering Active Directory
By Robert King Published by Sybex, published March 2000, Paperback 517 pages, ISBN 0782126596 A decent and very well written resource for experienced network administrators who are just getting started with Active Directory. The author assumes that you have a certain level of knowledge in networking, but none in directory services. Mr. King does a great job of explaining the basics and includes plenty of examples, illustrations and personal notes throughout the chapters, well as brief summaries at the end. However we also felt the book could use a bit more technical depth to be considered a true guide to "mastering" AD. Overall, this a still a great book to start off with if your new to AD and need to get up to speed quickly. It would also make a great classroom text for instructors. Click here to read a sample chapter on Building the Active Directory Tree.

Windows 2000 Active Directory Service
By Alistair G. Lowe-Norris Published by O'Reilly & Associates, Paperback, February 2000, 621 pages, ISBN 1565926382. Written by a participant in the Windows 2000 Rapid Deployment Program, Windows 2000 Active Directory focuses on the practical, hands-on information you need to manage your site. Instead of a screen-by-screen description of the graphical user interface, this book focuses on the tasks you need to perform to manage your organization's directory effectively. The heavy emphasis on scripting with the ADSI will help you automate tasks to achieve greater reliability and save time. Windows 2000 Active Directory is a practical guide to the new technology for the overworked system or network administrator.
Admin 911: Windows 2000 Group Policy
By Roger Jennings. Published by McGraw Hill, November 2000. Paperback 480 pages ISBN 0072129484. Finally, someone has actually dedicated an entire reference to Group Policies! We can't endorse this book strongly enough for administrators who are running Active Directory. No other reference we've seen comes close to the detail and real word insight provided by this book. Learn the basics of managing, applying, customizing and deploying group policies, as well as supporting IntelliMirror, optimizing Active Directory topology, troubleshooting conflicts between site and domain level policies,  and setting local policies for stand alone clients. Each chapter features comprehensive walkthroughs, screenshots, tables, and invaluable Code Blue warnings that will keep you from making critical mistakes. The 100 page Appendix includes a huge Group Policy Reference as well as sections on using GroupPol to create Active Directory Objects and migrating Windows NT domains with the Active Directory Migration Tool.
Where to find great books at great prices....  
Everybody knows about, but Bookpool is frequently less expensive, and they specialize in Technical Books. They carry MS Press, O'Reilly, Que, Osborne, SAMS, and others.  
Another online professional bookstore. Although we prefer Bookpool's prices, FatBrain has a better selection in a few categories. Essentially our second stop on the web when looking for a title.

Half Price Computer Books
Another source for great deals on computer books. Much cheaper than Amazon and B&N

O'Reilly and Associates  
Publishers of some of the best books in the industry. Well written, concise, accurate, and great cover art!. If I'm looking for a reference book, I always check O'Reilly first. I've never been disappointed. (This is not a paid endorsement!)

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