Introduction to White Pages Services based on X.500
RFC 1684

Document Type RFC - Informational (August 1994; No errata)
Was draft-rare-nap-x500intro (individual)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                            P. Jurg
Request for Comments: 1684                                    SURFnet bv
Category: Informational                                      August 1994

          Introduction to White Pages Services based on X.500

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

Abstract

   This document aims at organisations who are using local and global
   electronic communication on a day to day basis and for whom using an
   electronic White Pages Service is therefore indispensable.

   The document provides an introduction to the international ITU-T
   (formerly CCITT) X.500 and ISO 9594 standard, which is particularly
   suited for providing an integrated local and global electronic White
   Pages Service.

   In addition a short overview of the experience gained from the
   Paradise X.500 pilot is given. References to more detailed
   information are included.

   The document should be useful for managers of the above mentioned
   organisations who need to get the necessary executive commitment for
   making the address information of their organisation available by
   means of X.500.

Table Of Contents

   1. Introduction ................................................  2
   2. Concept of X.500 ............................................  3
     2.1  Directory Model .........................................  3
     2.2  Information Model .......................................  4
   3.  Benefits of X.500 ..........................................  5
   4.  Organisational aspects of X.500(experience from Paradise) ..  6
   5.  Applications of X.500 ......................................  8
   6.  References .................................................  9
   7.  Security Considerations .................................... 10
   8.  Author's Address ........................................... 10

RARE Working Group on Network Applications Support              [Page 1]
RFC 1684       Introduction to X.500 White Pages Services    August 1994

1. Introduction

   Due to the tremendous growth and development of international
   computer networks we have nowadays the possibility to overcome -
   without having to travel - geographical distances when working
   together with other people. Besides the possibility of using the
   telephone we may use electronic data exchange to discuss working
   documents, new ideas, plans or whatsoever. One of the most popular
   means for this is electronic mail, which can be used to exchange
   all kinds of electronic data: from informal pure text messages to
   formatted and multi-media documents.

   As the number of people connected to computer networks grows (and
   it does continuously, it is at least doubling each year!), it
   becomes more difficult to track down people's electronic (mail)
   addresses. Hence, in order to make global communication over
   computer networks work, a global White Pages service is
   indispensable. Such a service should of course provide people's
   electronic mail addresses, but could also easily contain telephone
   and fax numbers and postal addresses.

   Currently, one technical solution for a globally distributed
   White Pages service is X.500 and there exists an international
   infrastructure based on X.500 technology called 'Paradise'
   (Piloting An inteRnationAl DIrectory SErvice), which contains about
   1.5 million entries belonging to persons and 3,000 belonging to
   organisations. Worldwide 35 countries are involved. Paradise is
   also a project of the EC. The project continues until September
   1994. Afterwards its operational tasks will be taken over by a
   European service provider for the R&D community (DANTE).

   The goal of Paradise and related national initiatives is to
   stimulate and extend the use of the X.500 White Pages service.
   Within the pilot attention is paid to technical and organisational
   aspects. The Paradise infrastructure is mainly based on the
   Internet Protocol. The specific issues that are related to the use
   of the Internet Protocol for X.500 can be found in [5].

   In the decision process of joining the international X.500
   infrastructure and opening (part) of the local (address)
   information to the outside world, it is important that an
   organisation fully understands the technical and organisational
   issues that are involved.

   This document tries to be of help in this matter first by
   explaining the main concepts of X.500 (section 2) and subsequently
   by pointing out its benefits (section 3), the organisational
   aspects that are involved (section 4), and for which other

RARE Working Group on Network Applications Support              [Page 2]
RFC 1684       Introduction to X.500 White Pages Services    August 1994

   applications the X.500 infrastructure may be used in the near
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