A Common Schema for the Internet White Pages Service
RFC 2218

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (October 1997; No errata)
Authors Tony Genovese  , Barbara Jennings 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                       T. Genovese
Request for Comments: 2218                                    Microsoft
Category: Standards Track                                   B. Jennings
                                             Sandia National Laboratory
                                                           October 1997

          A Common Schema for the Internet White Pages Service

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   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

   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

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

   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

Genovese & Jennings        Standards Track                      [Page 1]
RFC 2218                 Common Schema for IWPS             October 1997

   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

   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 requirements:

              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

   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,

Genovese & Jennings        Standards Track                      [Page 2]
RFC 2218                 Common Schema for IWPS             October 1997

   some syntax are listed as requirements vs specific encodings.  The
   general IWPS syntax is included in section 6.0 for reference.

   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 memo suggests storage
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