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Active Directory object picker control

, 16 May 2004 CPOL 161.3K 1.5K 59
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A Windows control for selecting objects in Active Directory.

Picker control test app


A basic Windows control library for selecting objects in your Active Directory.


I've been involved in several Active Directory projects and frequently have had the need for a "picker" utility to select objects in the AD hierarchy. I decided to roll my own and encapsulate it in a Windows control library.

Sample Usage

Add the control to the list of Windows Forms controls in Visual Studio .NET, then drag the control onto a Windows Form. The control will automatically obtain your Active Directory root path and begin building a hierachal tree of the objects it finds.

private void AddTreeNodes(TreeNode node)
    Cursor.Current = Cursors.WaitCursor;
    adh = new ADHelper();
    IDictionaryEnumerator enumerator = adh.Children.GetEnumerator();

    // append children
    while (enumerator.MoveNext())
        TreeNode childNode = new TreeNode((string)enumerator.Key);
        childNode.Tag = enumerator.Value; // ADsPath

        // specific object types
        if (!alExceptions.Contains(node.Text))
            childNode.ImageIndex =
            childNode.ImageIndex = 3; // computer image
    Cursor.Current = Cursors.Default;

AddTreeNodes() takes only one parameter, the parent TreeNode object. It then proceeds to add every child object it finds. Similar to Microsoft's ADSI Edit tool, the control displays a plus sign to indicate if a node has one or more child nodes.

Returning the ADsPath

Each time a node is selected in the hierarchy, the ADsPath public property is updated to reflect the fully-qualified path to the object (i.e. LDAP://OU=DEV,OU=US,DC=CORPORATE,DC=MYDOMAIN,DC=COM).

public void GetChildEntries(string adspath)
    if (adspath.Length > 0)
        entry = new DirectoryEntry(adspath);
        entry = new DirectoryEntry();

    foreach (DirectoryEntry childEntry in entry.Children)
        _htChildren.Add(childEntry.Name, childEntry.Path);
private void treeView1_AfterSelect(object sender, 
      System.Windows.Forms.TreeViewEventArgs e)
    _adspath = (string)e.Node.Tag;


The control has been tested on Windows 2000/XP/2003. It should work for Windows 9x/NT with the Microsoft Active Directory Client Extensions installed.


  • Version 1.0 - 04.22.2004 - First release version.
  • Version 1.1 - 04.28.2004 - Added image support for object types.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Marc Merritt
United States United States
I live in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA with my lovely wife and two beautiful daughters. Life is good. My hobbies are motorcycles, motorcycles, and motorcycles.

I run a riders group called Twisties Motorcycle Club. If you're are a rider in the tri-state area, look us up!

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Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: AD Picker Pin
Marc Merritt29-Apr-04 3:38
memberMarc Merritt29-Apr-04 3:38 
GeneralRe: AD Picker Pin
Dimonytch16-May-04 21:57
memberDimonytch16-May-04 21:57 
GeneralSuggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
Heath Stewart26-Apr-04 8:18
editorHeath Stewart26-Apr-04 8:18 
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
olivierv27-Apr-04 0:20
sussolivierv27-Apr-04 0:20 
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
Marc Merritt27-Apr-04 2:16
memberMarc Merritt27-Apr-04 2:16 
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
Tomaž Štih18-May-04 3:06
memberTomaž Štih18-May-04 3:06 
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
Heath Stewart18-May-04 3:39
protectorHeath Stewart18-May-04 3:39 
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
Marc Merritt18-May-04 3:56
memberMarc Merritt18-May-04 3:56 
In my experience, it's not possible. Sorry.
GeneralRe: Suggestion for TreeNode Images Pin
mlorr7719-May-04 1:45
membermlorr7719-May-04 1:45 

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