A directory service is the software system that stores, organizes and provides access to information in a directory. In software engineering, a directory is a map between names and values. It allows the lookup of values given a name, similar to a dictionary. As a word in a dictionary may have multiple definitions, in a directory, a name may be associated with multiple, different pieces of information. Likewise, as a word may have different parts of speech and different definitions, a name in a directory may have many different types of data.