The Service Location Protocol (SLP) is a protocol or method of organizing and locating the resources (such as printers, disk drives, databases, e-mail directories, and schedulers) in a network. SLP is intended to give users an easy-to-use interface to a network's resource information. The protocol defines and oversees communications and operations that take place among entities called user agents (subscribers or workstations), service agents (peripherals and resources), and directory agents (peripherals and resources within service agents). Rearrangement or maintenance of services, or installing new devices, is possible without the need for reconfiguring individual workstations.
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SLP is an alternative to the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) in new networks, but is not expected to displace LDAP in existing networks.