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"
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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