Active Directory Web Services Overview

Active Directory Web Services (ADWS) is a new windows service introduced in Windows 2008 R2 that enables remote management of any local directory service instance using WS-* protocols.

ADWS supports the following web service protocols: 

The data model used by AD Webservice is described here.

AD Webservice is automatically installed along with ADDS or ADLDS role, and is configured to run automatically when the directory instance is promoted. The Active Directory Module for Windows Powershell uses AD Webservice to manage and administer Active Directory. Also, since the new Active Directory Administrative Center (ADAC) is implemented on top of AD PowerShell, it also uses AD Webservice to manage the directory server.  This client server model is depicted in the following diagram:

Active Directory Web Services Client Server Model

As shown in the above diagram a single instance of ADWS manages all directory service instances running on the server. This includes Domain Controller, Global Catalog, Snapshot browser instances and ADLDS instances. AD Webservice is implemented using WCF and listens on the registered TCP port 9389. The service runs as a Local System with restricted privileges.

Stay tuned for more information on AD Webservice.

Manas Singh

Comments (15)
  1. Active Directory Web Services (ADWS) is a new windows service introduced in Windows 2008 R2 that enables

  2. jawhar says:

    How can we interact With ADWS using C# Development?

  3. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  4. Bill Siegler says:

    I'm running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise on my AD server.

    I do not see ADWS as a windows service.  How can I get this installed?

  5. I am really grateful to have the information from this blog.I liked the blog as it has been written,the information  i got from here.

  6. M. Ali says:


    The ADWS protocol is documented at…/dd303965(PROT.13).aspx


    ADWS is released with Windows Server 2008 R2. For the downlevel OS, see the following blog post:…/active-directory-management-gateway-service-released-to-web-manage-your-windows-2003-2008-dcs-using-ad-powershell.aspx

  7. David S says:

    Is there any way to access ADWS via http? I'm just starting to learn wcf and still have no idea how to interact with ADWS using C# after reading through the protocol from the link above.

    It would be great if there was an example about using ADWS in a Windows console or form app.



  8. Laeeq Qazi says:


    Many of the developers looking into ADWS to interact with AD usiing C#|VB but there is no article available.

    Can you guide us in this direction. As far as I understand this ADWS model, I think currently programers can only interact  with it using AD PowerShell snapin. But ADWS should be exposed via a Url, but I cannot find what is the URL of ADWS if I want to consume it.


  9. Laeeq Qazi says:

    Unfortunately after 2 hours of searching, I could not find a way to get .wsdl file for AD Web Services. I think it is not exposed as a web service, because I have seen people using it with TCP protocol, not with HTTP. Look at here:…/dd303811(v=PROT.13).aspx

    I think he would have to consume ADWS this way, as mentioned in above link.

    Two sections examples are included in above link.

    These are the ADWS connection points in this case for both sections"




    net.tcp://ADServer:9389/ActiveDirectoryWebServices/Windows/ TopologyManagement


    Laeeq Qazi

  10. says:,  very nice web 🙂

  11. Ronald Wilson says:

    can ADWS be added to a server running   SBS 2003?

    Is there an work around?

  12. Alongkorn B. says:

    Hi Guys,

    Seems like ADWS cannot consume over http right? BTW. If have to implement it over the TCP protocol, any body got some example to do that over C# or another language?

    Thanks in advance.

  13. Karey Tonnesen says:

    Hi John!

    you charged me   $59.00 11/07/13 and I'd like you to tell me what it was for and if it was performed?

       thanks  you for  your time and trouble !

                                                                         Best Regards Karey Tonnesen

  14. Karey Tonnesen says:

    I tried to call you, but the waiting time was to long, so I had to find another way to contact you for my questions John!  

    I'm not sure how your advertising system works, so perhaps you can explain it to me?  

                                                       Best Regards Karey                                              

  15. Andrei says:

    Hello M. Ali,

    Could you change "Windows 2008 R2 " to "Windows Server 2008 R2"?

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