Although I do not work with Java everyday, I have used Java for many years.
Many of my clients are using Spring and as a LDAP expert, I am often asked about using Spring with LDAP; so I am trying to learn more about Spring as the support for LDAP, well, leaves somethings to be desired compared to one of the dedicated LDAP libraires.
The issue I have had, is the different version issues that are not resolved.
I have yet to be able to obtain a sample that will work.
I installed the STS and can not even get one of the popular examples of HelloWorld to work. (http://www.mkyong.com/tutorials/spring-tutorials/) as there is some "older" version dependancies missing.
I understood that Spring should make life easier, but so far, it has been vary painful.
Are you just talking about Spring Security, and using LDAP for authentication?
If so, it is actually very easy. You just write a configuration that uses the built in LDAP UserDetailsService in your Spring Security configuration.
But I think the pain you feel is because you are trying to go straight to the project/configuration and not learn Spring.
Ah, wait. I see there actually is a Spring LDAP project.
Are you familiar with the Template Method pattern? It looks like this project has an LdapTemplate class where you call methods on it and pass parameters and it returns data from Ldap.
So in Spring Templates are used in many places and it is actually really really easy to use a Template, so I definitely recommend learning some Spring Framework basics first.
I know it is tough to say this. But this is as easy as you will find. But if you are brand new and haven't seen a Template before, then maybe it doesn't look as easy as you will find. Does that make sense?