ldapjs Filters API

This document covers the ldapjs filters API and assumes that you are familiar with LDAP. If you're not, read the guide first.

LDAP search filters are really the backbone of LDAP search operations, and ldapjs tries to get you in "easy" with them if your dataset is small, and also lets you introspect them if you want to write a "query planner". For reference, make sure to read over RFC2254, as this explains the LDAPv3 text filter representation.

ldapjs gives you a distinct object type mapping to each filter that is context-sensitive. However, all filters have a matches() method on them, if that's all you need. Most filters will have an attribute property on them, since "simple" filters all operate on an attribute/value assertion. The "complex" filters are really aggregations of other filters (i.e. 'and'), and so these don't provide that property.

All Filters in the ldapjs framework extend from Filter, which wil have the property type available; this will return a string name for the filter, and will be one of:

parseFilter(filterString)

Parses an RFC2254 filter string into an ldapjs object(s). If the filter is "complex", it will be a "tree" of objects. For example:

var parseFilter = require('ldapjs').parseFilter;

var f = parseFilter('(objectclass=*)');

Is a "simple" filter, and would just return a PresenceFilter object. However,

var f = parseFilter('(&(employeeType=manager)(l=Seattle))');

Would return an AndFilter, which would have a filters array of two EqualityFilter objects.

parseFilter will throw if an invalid string is passed in (that is, a syntactically invalid string).

EqualityFilter

The equality filter is used to check exact matching of attribute/value assertions. This object will have an attribute and value property, and the name proerty will be equal.

The string syntax for an equality filter is (attr=value).

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute and a value matching value.

var f = new EqualityFilter({
  attribute: 'cn',
  value: 'foo'
});

f.matches({cn: 'foo'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'bar'});  => false

Equality matching uses "strict" type JavaScript comparison, and by default everything in ldapjs (and LDAP) is a UTF-8 string. If you want comparison of numbers, or something else, you'll need to use a middleware interceptor that transforms values of objects.

PresenceFilter

The presence filter is used to check if an object has an attribute at all, with any value. This object will have an attribute property, and the name property will be present.

The string syntax for a presence filter is (attr=*).

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute.

var f = new PresenceFilter({
  attribute: 'cn'
});

f.matches({cn: 'foo'});  => true
f.matches({sn: 'foo'});  => false

SubstringFilter

The substring filter is used to do wildcard matching of a string value. This object will have an attribute property and then it will have an initial property, which is the prefix match, an any which will be an array of strings that are to be found somewhere in the target string, and a final property, which will be the suffix match of the string. any and final are both optional. The name property will be substring.

The string syntax for a presence filter is (attr=foo*bar*cat*dog), which would map to:

{
  initial: 'foo',
  any: ['bar', 'cat'],
  final: 'dog'
}

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute and the "regex" matches the value

var f = new SubstringFilter({
  attribute: 'cn',
  initial: 'foo',
  any: ['bar'],
  final: 'baz'
});

f.matches({cn: 'foobigbardogbaz'});  => true
f.matches({sn: 'fobigbardogbaz'});  => false

GreaterThanEqualsFilter

The ge filter is used to do comparisons and ordering based on the value type. As mentioned elsewhere, by default everything in LDAP and ldapjs is a string, so this filter's matches() would be using lexicographical ordering of strings. If you wanted >= semantics over numeric values, you would need to add some middleware to convert values before comparison (and the value of the filter). Note that the ldapjs schema middleware will do this.

The GreaterThanEqualsFilter will have an attribute property, a value property and the name property will be ge.

The string syntax for a ge filter is:

(cn>=foo)

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute and the value is >= this filter's value.

var f = new GreaterThanEqualsFilter({
  attribute: 'cn',
  value: 'foo',
});

f.matches({cn: 'foobar'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'abc'});  => false

LessThanEqualsFilter

The le filter is used to do comparisons and ordering based on the value type. As mentioned elsewhere, by default everything in LDAP and ldapjs is a string, so this filter's matches() would be using lexicographical ordering of strings. If you wanted <= semantics over numeric values, you would need to add some middleware to convert values before comparison (and the value of the filter). Note that the ldapjs schema middleware will do this.

The string syntax for a le filter is:

(cn<=foo)

The LessThanEqualsFilter will have an attribute property, a value property and the name property will be le.

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute and the value is <= this filter's value.

var f = new LessThanEqualsFilter({
  attribute: 'cn',
  value: 'foo',
});

f.matches({cn: 'abc'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'foobar'});  => false

AndFilter

The and filter is a complex filter that simply contains "child" filters. The object will have a filters property which is an array of Filter objects. The name property will be and.

The string syntax for an and filter is (assuming below we're and'ing two equality filters):

(&(cn=foo)(sn=bar))

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object matches all the filters in the filters array.

var f = new AndFilter({
  filters: [
    new EqualityFilter({
      attribute: 'cn',
      value: 'foo'
    }),
    new EqualityFilter({
      attribute: 'sn',
      value: 'bar'
    })
  ]
});

f.matches({cn: 'foo', sn: 'bar'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'foo', sn: 'baz'});  => false

OrFilter

The or filter is a complex filter that simply contains "child" filters. The object will have a filters property which is an array of Filter objects. The name property will be or.

The string syntax for an or filter is (assuming below we're or'ing two equality filters):

(|(cn=foo)(sn=bar))

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object matches any of the filters in the filters array.

var f = new OrFilter({
  filters: [
    new EqualityFilter({
      attribute: 'cn',
      value: 'foo'
    }),
    new EqualityFilter({
      attribute: 'sn',
      value: 'bar'
    })
  ]
});

f.matches({cn: 'foo', sn: 'baz'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'bar', sn: 'baz'});  => false

NotFilter

The not filter is a complex filter that contains a single "child" filter. The object will have a filter property which is an instance of a Filter object. The name property will be not.

The string syntax for a not filter is (assuming below we're not'ing an equality filter):

(!(cn=foo))

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object does not match the filter in the filter property.

var f = new NotFilter({
  filter: new EqualityFilter({
      attribute: 'cn',
      value: 'foo'
    })
});

f.matches({cn: 'bar'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'foo'});  => false

ApproximateFilter

The approximate filter is used to check "approximate" matching of attribute/value assertions. This object will have an attribute and value property, and the name proerty will be approx.

As a side point, this is a useless filter. It's really only here if you have some whacky client that's sending this. It just does an exact match (which is what ActiveDirectory does too).

The string syntax for an equality filter is (attr~=value).

The matches() method will return true IFF the passed in object has a key matching attribute and a value exactly matching value.

var f = new ApproximateFilter({
  attribute: 'cn',
  value: 'foo'
});

f.matches({cn: 'foo'});  => true
f.matches({cn: 'bar'});  => false