Overview#Application Directory Partitions is a NamingContext within Microsoft Active Directory Directory Partition Hierarchy for used defined partitions.
Application Directory Partitions contain any type of object except for Security Principal Objects.
Application Directory Partitions are not restricted by AD DOMAIN boundaries, as is the case with Domain Directory Partitions, they can exist on any domain controller running Windows Server 2003 or later in an AD Forest regardless of the AD DOMAIN the Domain Controller is a member.
Application Directory Partitions replicas can be replicated to any set of Domain Controllers in a AD Forest, irrespective of AD DOMAIN. Application Directory Partitions is created by Applications to store their data. It is different from any other partitions in that the application can choose which Domain Controller or Controllers to store the data on. The advantage for the application storing the data this way is that the application has access to the same replicate and fault tolerance used by the Domain Controllers.
An example of an Application is DNS Integrated Active Directory Zones. When this zone type is used, the data is stored in an Application Directory Partitions. Replicates with any specified DC in which app has created the separate partition. E.g. AD integrated DNS will have an Application directory partition in AD. Similarly, Exchange 2010