Using RDAP as a Domain Availability Service

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Network Working Group                                          A. Newton
Internet-Draft                                                      ARIN
Intended status: Informational                                   M. Sanz
Expires: June 19, 2017                                          DENIC eG
                                                       December 16, 2016

              Using RDAP as a Domain Availability Service


   This document describes a minimal profile of RDAP which can be used
   to check the availability of domain names available for registration.

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Newton & Sanz             Expires June 19, 2017                 [Page 1]
Internet-Draft          RDAP Domain Availability           December 2016

1.  Introduction

   While RDAP [RFC7480] has all the necessary properties to serve the
   information necessary to determine if a domain name is available for
   registration, without proper signalling an RDAP server is likely to
   return more information than is required to fulfill this requirement,
   thus wasting bandwidth and server resources, and may return negative
   answers when positive answers are more appropriate.

   This document defines HTTP query parameters to be used by clients to
   signal the intent of the query is for an availability check.  Servers
   may then respond with a much smaller and less costly payload than
   they would have otherwise.  The contents of the payload would be at
   the discretion of the policies of the server operator within the
   guidelines of RDAP responses [RFC7483].

2.  Query Parameter

   To signal that the client is only interested in domain availability
   checking, the client MUST use the query parameter 'availabilityCheck'
   in the RDAP query for a domain with value '1'.  This query parameter
   has no meaning for other RDAP queries, and therefore should be
   ignored in those cases.

     The following is an example RDAP query for a domain availability

                       Figure 1: Example RDAP Query

                   The following is an example response.

          "rdapConformance" : [ "rdap_level_0", "domain_check_0" ],
          "objectClassName" : "domain",
          "ldhName" : "",
          "status" : [ "inactive", "redemption period" ]

    This response, not including the HTTP headers, is 174 octets long.

                      Figure 2: Example RDAP Response

   When this query parameter is given, servers MUST reply with HTTP
   return codes as specified in Section 3.

Newton & Sanz             Expires June 19, 2017                 [Page 2]
Internet-Draft          RDAP Domain Availability           December 2016

3.  Positive and Negative Answers

   RDAP [RFC7480] provides guidance on using HTTP return codes more
   contextual for the lookup of domain registration information than
   domain availability information.  A query for domain registration
   information should result in a negative answer (e.g. 404 NOT FOUND)
   if the name is not registered (or not in active use or in another
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