H.1.2 Application Configuration Data Model Hierarchy

The LDAP structure is built upon a hierarchy of named objects. This hierarchy can vary from site to site. The DICOM configuration management function needs to find its objects within this hierarchy in a predictable manner. For this reason, three specific object classes are defined for the three objects at the top of the DICOM hierarchy. These three object classes must not be used in this tree relationship anywhere else in the LDAP hierarchy.

The DICOM portion of the hierarchy shall begin at a root object of class dicomConfigurationRoot with a Common Name of “DICOM Configuration”. Below this object shall be two other objects:

  1. An object of class dicomDevicesRoot with a Common Name of “Devices”. This is the root of the tree of objects that correspond to the Application Configuration Data Model structure of Section H.1.1.

  2. An object of class dicomUniqueAETitlesRegistryRoot with a common name of “Unique AE Titles Registry”. This is the root of a flat tree of objects. Each of these objects is named with one of the AE titles that are presently assigned. This is the mechanism for finding available AE titles.

The three object classes dicomConfigurationRoot, dicomDevicesRoot, and dicomUniqueAETitleRegistryRoot are used by LDAP clients to establish the local root of the DICOM configuration information within an LDAP hierarchy that may be used for many other purposes.

Note: During system startup it is likely that the DICOM configuration application will do an LDAP search for an entry of object class dicomConfigurationRoot and then confirm that it has the dicomDevicesRoot and dicomUniqueAETitlesRegistryRoot entries directly below it. When it finds this configuration, it can then save the full location within the local LDAP tree and use that as the root of the DICOM tree.

The objects underneath the dicomUniqueAETitlesRegistryRoot are used to provide the uniqueness required for DICOM AE-titles. The dicomUniqueAETitle objects have a single attribute representing a unique AE Title. When a new AE-Title is required, a tentative new name is selected. The new name is reserved by using the LDAP create facility to create an object of class dicomUniqueAETitle with the new name under the AE-Title object. If this name is already in use, the create will fail. Otherwise, this reserves the name. LDAP queries can be used to obtain the list of presently assigned AE-titles by obtaining the list of all names under the dicomUniqueAETitlesRegistryRoot object.

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Figure H.1-2 DICOM Configuration Hierarchy

Notes: 1. LDAP uses a root and relative hierarchical naming system for objects. Every object name is fully unique within the full hierarchy. This means that the names of the objects beneath “Unique AE Titles Registry” will be unique. It also means that the full names of Network AEs and Connections will be within their hierarchy context. E.g., the DN for one of the Network AEs in Figure H.1-2 would be:

dicomAETitle=CT_01, dicomDeviceName=Special Research CT, cn=Devices, cn=DICOM Configuration, o=Sometown Hospital

2. In theory, multiple independent DICOM configuration hierarchies could exist within one organization. The LDAP servers in such a network should constrain local device accesses so that DICOM configuration clients have only one DICOM Configuration Hierarchy visible to each client.

3. The merger of two organizations will require manual configuration management to merge DICOM Configuration hierarchies. There are likely to be conflicts in AE-titles, roles, and other conflicts.