To LDAP or not to LDAP – That is the question

I do web hosting for small nonprofits.  Currently, there are three.  One has about 20 users, one has three (with more coming), and one has only two.  Right now, each of the users’ accounts exist simply as database entries in each site’s respective MySQL database backend.  But increasingly, users are wanting to do stuff like make mailing lists, manage contacts, etc.  So far, I’ve just been handling all that by hand.  But is there a more elegant solution?

I like Drupal and it has a lot of potential.  I like Horde.  Right now, e-mail runs off of UNIX sendmail and procmail with everyone using Squirrelmail or having their mail auto-forwarded to other addresses.  What if I set up Horde to let them do neat things with their e-mail?  What of their drupal registered addresses?  And what about spam-filtering and procmail?

Would LDAP help?  It would create a centralized identity management location that would keep things better organized.  But is it worth the trouble of setting it all up?  Would the end-user see any benefit?  How seamless is it to connect Drupal and Horde with LDAP for authentication?  What about desktop login sessions and SAMBA?

The big question:  do I take the time to do all this the right way or do I just keep doing things the “good enough” way?  Bear in mind that I have a $0 budget for these projects.  The $20/month I get for hosting a site goes directly to Time Warner for the domain names and DNS records.

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