Forward Reference


A Forward Reference is a practice, used with Microsoft Active Directory, in which an object's group memberships are listed as the values of an attribute (the Member Attribute) of the Group object.

The MemberOf attribute (and each of its values) is a Virtual Attribute or as Microsoft sometimes refers to it as a "back-link"

We have also seen Microsoft use the term Forward Reference used but as far as we know, both these terms are the same as Virtual Attribute

For example, an attribute named memberOf or groupMembership might be used to list the groups of which the object is a member.

Typically, a forward reference identifies actual group objects to which the member object belongs. The group objects themselves may be static or dynamic.

Not limited to Group#

It should be noted that a Forward Reference could also be used merely to tag members of groups without there being a corresponding group object. Such tags might also be used to associate an object with other types of objects such as roles or other relationships.

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