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X.500 is a series of computer networking standards used to develop the equivalent of an electronic directory that is very similar to the concept of a physical telephone directory. Its purpose is to centralize an organization's contacts so that anyone within (and sometimes without) the organization who has Internet access can look up other people in the same organization by name or department. Several large institutions and multinational corporations have implemented X.500.
An X.500 directory is organized under a common root directory out of which other branches grow according to the individual organization’s structure.
For example, a large multinational company called GlobalCorp that is headquartered in the U.S. with branches in Asia, Europe and South America would have an X.500 directory with the following attributes:
Therefore, Ming-Dae Kim who works in the South Korean office will have a directory structure as follows: GlobalCorp => Asia => S.Korea => Seoul => Accounts => Ming-Dae Kim (email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org; +850 233 0980435; Senior Accountant).
Branches can be added to any level by the directory administrator. Each organization can have its own X.500 directory structure as long as all branches adhere to some predefined basic schema or layout. For example, all employees must belong to a department and must have at least an email address and phone number.