Ricoh – Home Folders via LDAP

Posted On April 11, 2012 By Kevin O'Brien

The emerging product line from Ricoh includes some pretty handy features as well as improvements to its Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) integration. They are focusing on making their already easy to use devices more user friendly and scan options easy to configure for administrators. Let’s think about how you first log into your computer each morning. Most people will respond that they enter a username and password of some sort. After logging into the domain, users are typically mapped to a set of “network drives” consisting of a home folder and various other shared network resources. In many cases, the home folder is being mapped by an LDAP attribute within the directory server on the domain.

With the new Ricoh product line, the login process works much in the same way, and with a little configuration, gives authenticated users access to their home folder located on the network. Previous Ricoh devices allowed for LDAP, or Windows Authentication, however, access to the user’s home folder was limited and required additional software. Now administrators need only enable LDAP authentication on the device, specify the home folder attribute, and ensure that the user’s home folder is configured properly in their directory server (whether it’s Active Directory, OpenLDAP, or another solution).

Administrators looking to minimize the amount of configuration on their multifunctional devices (MFDs) will love the new enhancements. Those in charge of managing current MFD fleets probably spend a good deal of time ensuring that address books containing email addresses and scan-to-folder destinations stay somewhat synchronized. It’s possible that all of those folder destinations point to each user’s home folder and authentication is completed via a proxy account. If that’s the case, enabling LDAP with home folders may be a better solution.

After a user successfully authenticates, they are automatically provided with the option to scan to their own email address and home folder. This process also eliminates the need for a proxy account as the authentication process relies on the logged in user and access permissions already established on the network. Users can also login to any supported device and are provided with identical options without manual address book management.

So whether you are an end user or an administrator, the new devices should help improve your workflow and provide additional management capabilities. Consult with Advance to see if your devices are supported and learn how to integrate this feature.