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Posted 1 Feb 2004
Licenced CPOL

Dynamically Browse Active Directory Objects

, 1 Feb 2004
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A simple program which lets you browse containers of your Active Directory


This tip shows you how to browse your Active Directory using the Simple AD Browser. The Windows Forms project is quite simple. It contains a treeview control for navigating and expanding AD objects and a listview object showing the selected object data. A connection dialog allows you to initially connect to an AD or change connection to another AD. The solution consists of two projects:

  1. the above mentioned Windows Forms project
  2. a class library which handles Active Directory communication

The class library for AD communication, which is called "Simple AD Browser Helpers.dll", has a reference to ADSI (

The ADSI SDK is needed since we need the interfaces IADsPropertyList and IADsPropertyEntry for making sure that Active Directory types, which are unknown to the .NET Framework, are displayed properly.

If you are having trouble compiling the class library "Simple AD Browser Helpers.dll", because the reference "Interop.ActiveDs" or "ActiveDs" was not found, please do the following steps:

  1. Select "Solution Explorer" in Visual Studio
  2. Navigate to & expand the project "Simple AD Browser Helpers"
  3. Right click on references and choose "Add Reference..."
  4. Choose "Browse"
  5. Go to your Windows directory, e.g., C:\Windows\SysWOW64
  6. Select the file "activeds.tlb"
  7. Hit "OK"


  • Initial release 02.02.2004
  • Code rework 05.01.2014 (cleaned up code and added class library for AD communication, added ADSI type conversions)


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


About the Author

Sebastian Sosna
Software Developer (Senior) Ciber Germany
Germany Germany
Sebastian is an consultant who works at Ciber Germany. He engineers software in various languages but loves C# and C. In his past projects he did CAD SAP integration, SharePoint, software design with UML and coordinating fellow developers.

In his free time he likes to build&fly R/C airplanes and take his mountain bike out for a ride.

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Comments and Discussions

Generalawesome. Pin
omer nauman16-Jul-08 1:26
memberomer nauman16-Jul-08 1:26 

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