Directory Services Markup Language (DSML) provides a mechanism for accessing directory servers as XML document. It evolved with version 1.0 which just gave flexibility to read the directory servers but version 2.0 came with more flexibility. Using version 2.0 directory server entries can be updated.
DSML functionality is motivated by scenarios including:
1) Hand held device which does not have LDAP client.
2) Applicaion programs developed using XML tools and application needs to access LDAP.
3) A program needs to access a directory across the firewall and firewall does not allow LDAP ports.
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4) Integrating two different vendor directory servers.
Most of the existing directory server vendors support the DSML but it needs to be enabled explicitely. Below are some links specific to Sun DS.
DSML tools are also available for integration with existing applications.