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Doc Audience: developers who query the Person Directory Service (PDS)

When I'm developing or testing my application software that queries PDS, should I be querying the production PDS ( or the evaluation service (

Short Answer

If you're making a modest number of well-tested typical ID-mapping queries, it's fine to use PROD.  In any other case, we suggest you use EVAL.

Long Answer

We suggest you use EVAL if:

  • you're doing load testing (oh, say, hundreds of queries, on *indexed attributes, per second), or
  • you're querying by attributes that are not *indexed (ie, optimized for searching)
  • you're doing an unusual attribute search that will check large numbers of objects in the directory and return lots of objects or
  • you're making some other kind of screwy calls to the directory that might have unexpected results since nobody's tested it before.

*You can determine which attributes are indexed by checking the PDS Schema.  If the attribute has a sub-bullet with "index," then that attribute supports search indexing of the indicated kind(s): "eq" supports exact value search, "sub" supports wildcard search.

On the other hand, our two directory replicas can handle a LOT more traffic than they currently get. There's a good chance your load won't make any difference to our service level.  It's even kinda nice to have your load tests verified on our production service; if it's a peak load you want your system to support, then the production PDS servers ought to support it too, and it's a bonus if you verify that.  In this case, we recommend you do your initial testing on EVAL, and when it's clear there are no problems with your code or load, switch to PROD for the remainder of your testing.

If data lag matters to you, you should understand that the PROD PDS servers get updates regularly from the backend personreg system. The EVAL PDS gets reloaded nightly from production data, so it can be up to 24 hours behind PROD PDS

In summary, unless you think you match the criteria for using EVAL, it's fine to use PROD.

NOTE: WARN IAM BEFORE LOAD TESTING PDS =>> It's considered polite to email a heads-up to warning of upcoming Load Testing days/times.  This gives the IAM team time to:

  • warn other PDS EVAL users, and
  • review whether your testing conflicts with maintenance procedures or other special events.
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