Apple has published an article that offers guidance on writing Open Directory plug-ins.
The information appears on Apple's Developer Connection Web site. It explains what Open Directory is and what applications it can be used for before going on to discuss the implementation of an Open Directory plug-in and the Open Directory client application that calls the plug-in.
According to Apple, Open Directory allows Mac OS X applications to locate and update information about users, machines, and resources on a network. Applications that make use of this directory service may provide transparent access to resources with a minimum of user intervention.
Example of such applications could be as follows: "Your application may use Open Directory in order to participate in a network-wide sign-on mechanism shared with Windows and UNIX users. Or your application may allow users to update their personal information in a company-wide directory of employee data."
"Adding Open Directory support to your application can create a lot of opportunities for you in the enterprise, and even in smaller network environments," claims Apple.