A Common Schema for the Internet White Pages Service

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Document Type RFC Internet-Draft (ids WG)
Authors Tony Genovese  , Barbara Jennings 
Last updated 2013-03-02 (latest revision 1997-04-28)
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                                                      T. Genovese

                                                 Barbara Jennings
                                       Sandia National Laboratory

                                                      5 June 1997
                                      Expires:    4 December 1997 

      A Common Schema for the Internet White Pages Service
      File Name: draft-ietf-ids-iwps-schema-spec-06.txt

Status of this Memo

This document is an Internet-Draft.  Internet-Drafts are working
documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its areas,
and its working groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute
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This work is the result of the IETF Integrated Directory Services (IDS) 
Working Group.  The IDS Working Group proposes a standard specification
for a simple Internet White Pages service by defining a common schema for 
use by the various White Pages servers.  This schema is independent of 
specific implementations of the White Pages service.

This document specifies the minimum set of core attributes of a White Pages
entry for an individual and describes how new objects with those attributes
can be defined and published.  It does not describe how to represent other 
objects in the White Pages service.  Further, it does not address the search
sort expectations within a particular service. 

1.0     Introduction to IWPS

The Internet community has stated a need for the development and deployment 
of a White Pages service for use in locating information about people in the 
Internet [PA94].  To facilitate interoperability and to provide a common user 
experience, the Internet White Pages Service (IWPS) must have a common set 
of information about each person.

A common user object would allow a user to go between implementations of
the service and to expect consistency in the types of information provided.
A common user object would also provide developers with an unambigious
method of representing the information managed by the service.

This document will focus only on common information modeling issues to 
which all IWPS providers must conform.  

2.0     Scope

This document establishes the set of attributes that specify the Common
User Information Object for the IWPS.  It does not attempt to be an 
exhaustive specification of all objects that may be stored in the IWPS. 
The process used by this document to define the user object is recommended
to be used to define other information objects used in the IWPS.

All conforming implementations must support at the minimum, the core attributes 
listed in Section 5.0. Implementations may include local attributes in addition
to the core set and still be considered "in conformance".

This document will not specify rules with respect to information privacy.
Each country has its own set of laws and practices.  Previous work covering 
this area has been done by the North American Directory Forum (NADF), whose
publication [NADF92] contain recommendations for registrants' rights in both the
USA and Canada.

This document does not specify a Directory access protocol (i.e. whois++,
LDAP, DAP, etc.).

3.0     IWPS Schema Considerations

The description of the IWPS information object consists of the following 

              1. Syntax for definition/representation of information
                 object templates.
              2. Publication of information object templates, etc.
              3. Database structure or schema.

Items 1 and 2 will be covered in this document.  Because database structure
can potentially restrict implementations (i.e. X.500 schema based versus 
DNS schema based) it will be treated as a separate research topic and will
not be defined in this paper.

4.0     Syntax for Definition/Representation of Information Object Templates

A clear, precise, and consistent method must be used when discussing information
object templates and their associated attributes. Therefore, this document makes
uses of the previously defined syntax used by LDAP.  To avoid restrictions on 
implementations of the IWPS, some syntax are listed as requirements vs 
specific encodings.  The general IWPS syntax is included in section 6.0 for 

The IWPS Person Object specifies a limited set of recommended attributes that 
a White Pages Service must include.  Storage of user attributes are a local 
issue, therefore, this draft suggest storage sizes but not storage types.

This document lists the syntax with the attributes for developers of user
interface (UIs) to use as a reference, but it does not specify how the UI 
should display these attributes.

Attributes that contain multiple-line text (i.e. Address) must use the 
procedure defined in RFC 822 in section 3.1.1 on "folding" long header lines 

5.0     Information Object Template Definitions

This section describes the IWPS Person Information Object Template 
and its associated attributes.  The Person Object is a simple list of 
attributes, no structure nor object inheritance is implied. 

IWPS client applications should use the following size recommendations as the
maximum sizes of the attributes.  However, applications should be able to 
handle attributes of arbitrary size, returned by a server which may not comply
with these recommendation.  All size recommendations are in characters.

Note: Multi-byte languages will require larger storage allocation to achieve 
the character size recommendation.  
This set of attributes describes information types, and are not defined 
attributes in a particular schema.  Any technology deploying a White Page 
service ( WHOIS ++, LDAP, vCard, etc.) will need to publish as a companion 
document, their specific schema detailing how the general attributes of the 
White Pages schema are expressed.


Phone number:  The full international form is recommended; 
               i.e. +1 206 703 0852.  The field may contain
               additional information following the phone
               number.  For example:

                        +1 800 759 7243 #123456 
                        +1 505 882 8080 ext. 30852

Email address: Is multivalued.

Certificate:   Is multivalued.

Common Name:   Is multivalued. 

Language Spoken:  Is multivalued.


--General Attributes --

      Field Name             Size         Syntax

      Email                   360         Mailbox
      Cert                   4000         Certificate
      Home Page               128         URI
      Common Name              64         WhitepageString
      Given Name               48         WhitepageString
      Surname                  48         WhitepageString
      Organization             64         WhitepageString
      Locality                 20         WhitepageString
      Country                   2         WhitepageString (ISO 3166)
      Language Spoken         128         WhitepageString (RFC 1766)

--Personal Attributes

      Personal Phone           30         PrintableString
      Personal Fax             30         PrintableString
      Personal Mobile Phone    30         PrintableString
      Personal Pager Number    30         PrintableString
      Personal Postal Address 255         Address
      Description             255         WhitepageString
--Organizational Attributes

      Title                    64         WhitepageString
      Office Phone             30         PrintableString
      Office Fax               30         PrintableString
      Office Mobile Phone      30         PrintableString
      Office Pager             30         PrintableString
      Office Postal Address   255         Address

      Creation Date            24         GeneralizedTime
      Creator Name            255         URI 
      Modified Date            24         GeneralizedTime 
      Modifier Name           255         URI

6.0     IWPS Person Information Object Template Syntax

This section defines the syntax used by the IWPS person information object 
template.  It is copied in whole from the LDAP attribute working document with
some modification for completeness.


   The certificate field is intended to hold any kind of certificate;
   X.509 certificates are one example. A specific implementation will
   specify how to indicate the type of certificate when describing the
   mapping of the IWPS schema onto the implementation schema.   


   This syntax must be able to encode arbitrary ISO 10646 characters.
   One such encoding is the UTF-8 encoding [UTF-8].


   Values of this syntax are encoded as printable strings, represented 
   as specified in X.208.  Note that the time zone must be specified.
   It is strongly recommended that Zulu time zone be used.  For example: 


  There are many kinds of mailbox addresses, including X.400 and Internet
  mailbox addresses. The implementation must clearly distinguish between
  different types of mailbox address, for instance by using a textual
  prefix or a set of attribute types. There must be a way to represent
  any mailbox type.


  According to Universal Postal Union standards, this field must be
  able to represent at least 6 lines of 40 characters.


   The encoding of a value with PrintableString syntax is the string
   value itself.  PrintableString is limited to the characters in 
   production <p>. Where production <p> is described by the following:

     <a> ::= 'a' | 'b' | 'c' | 'd' | 'e' | 'f' | 'g' | 'h' | 'i' |
             'j' | 'k' | 'l' | 'm' | 'n' | 'o' | 'p' | 'q' | 'r' |
             's' | 't' | 'u' | 'v' | 'w' | 'x' | 'y' | 'z' | 'A' |
             'B' | 'C' | 'D' | 'E' | 'F' | 'G' | 'H' | 'I' | 'J' |
             'K' | 'L' | 'M' | 'N' | 'O' | 'P' | 'Q' | 'R' | 'S' |
             'T' | 'U' | 'V' | 'W' | 'X' | 'Y' | 'Z'

     <d> ::= '0' | '1' | '2' | '3' | '4' | '5' | '6' | '7' | '8' | '9'

     <p> ::= <a> | <d> | ''' | '(' | ')' | '+' | ',' | '-' | '.' |
             '/' | ':' | '?' | ' '

7.0     Publication of IWPS Information Object Templates.

The Working Group recommends that all information object templates
used for the IWPS be published as an RFC at the minimum. To facilitate 
distribution, these publications should be made available on an Internet 
information server (i.e. InterNIC).

Individual organizations may define information object templates that
are local in scope as required to meet local organizational needs.  All 
information that the organization wishes to be part of the IWPS must use a 
published IWPS information object template.

8.0     Data Privacy

Each country, and each state within the US, has legislation defining
information privacy.  The suggested attributes in Section 5.0 may be
considered private and the directory administrator is strongly advised
to verify the privacy legislation for his domain.

As suggested in "Privacy and Accuracy in NIC Databases" [RFC 1355], each 
directory provider should provide a clear statement of the purpose of the
directory, the information that should be contained in it, and a privacy
policy associated with that information.  This policy should include 
restrictions for data dissemination.

This policy is strongly recommended for the US and Canada and required 
by many countries in the European Community for data sharing.

9.0     Data Integrity

Data Integrity was first addressed in RFC1107 [KS89], which states "a
White Pages service will not be used, if the information it provides is
out of date or incorrect."  Therefore, any production IWPS provider must 
insure that all data is reasonably correct and up-to-date.

The Ancillary Attributes of the IWPS person template denote the
information's source and date of origin, and the source and date of its 
latest modification.  They provide the user with some measurement of the 
quality of data making it easy to determine the owner and freshness of the 
data retrieved.

The IWPS User Agent must be able to retrieve and display Ancillary
Attributes.  Retrieval and display may be done as separate operations.

The Ancillary Attributes are recommended as the minimum set of attributes for
any new information object template.  Each IWPS server may individually decide
whether to support the storage and retrieval of this data.

The Ancillary Attributes (also defined in Section 5.0) provide the following
information about its associated information object:

              1.  The date and time the entry was created; Creation Date. 

              2.  Owner or individual responsible for the data creation;
                  Creator Name. 

              3.  The date and time of the last modification; 
                  Modified Date.

              4.  Individual responsible for the last modification; 
                  Modifier Name.

10.0    Security Considerations

Security is implementation and deployment specific and as such is not
addressed in this memo.  Security must ensure that the constraints mentioned 
in the Data Privacy Section 8.0 are complied with.

11.0     References

   [Davis] Davis, M., UTF-8, (WG2 N1036) DAM for ISO/IEC 10646-1.

   [KS89]  Sollins, K., "A Plan for Internet Directory Services", RFC
   1107, Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT, July 1989.

   [NADF92] North American Directory Forum, "User Bill of Rights for
    entries and listings in the Public Directory', RFC 1295,
    North American Directory Forum, January 1992.

   [PA94]  Postel, J., Anderson, C., "WHITE PAGES MEETING REPORT", RFC
   1588, University of Southern California, February 1994.

   [RFC-822] Crocker, D., "Standard for the Format of  ARPA  Internet  
    Text Messages", STD 11, RFC 822, August 1982.

   [RFC-1355] Curran, J., Marine, A., "Privacy and Accuracy Issues in Network 
   Information Center Databases", FYI 15, RFC 1355, August 1992.

   [UCS] Universal Multiple-Octet Coded Character Set (UCS) - Architecture
    and Basic Multilingual Plane, ISO/IEC 10646-1, 1993.

   [RFC 1766] Alvestrand, H. "Tags for the Identification of Languages",
    RFC 1766, March 1995.

11.0     Authors' Address

   Tony Genovese
   The Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, Washington 98007

   Phone: (206) 703-0852
   EMail: TonyG@Microsoft.com

   Barbara Jennings
   Sandia National Laboratories
   Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106

   Phone:  (505) 845-8554
   EMail:  jennings@sandia.gov

                             Expires: 10 October 1997