Network Working Group A.L. Newton
Internet-Draft ARIN
Intended status: Standards Track S. Hollenbeck
Expires: February 17, 2014 Verisign Labs
August 16, 2013

JSON Responses for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)


This document describes JSON data structures representing registration information maintained by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) and Domain Name Registries (DNRs). These data structures are used to form Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) query responses.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This document describes responses in the JSON [RFC4627] format for the RESTful web queries as defined by the Registration Data Access Protocol Lookup Format [I-D.ietf-weirds-rdap-query].

The data model for JSON responses is specified in four sections:

  1. simple data types conveyed in JSON strings
  2. data structures specified as JSON arrays or objects that are used repeatedly when building up larger objects
  3. object classes representing structured data corresponding to a given query
  4. the response to an error

The object classes represent responses for two major categories of data: responses returned by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) for registrations data related to IP addresses, reverse DNS names, and Autonomous System numbers; and responses returned by Domain Name Registries (DNRs) for registration data related to forward DNS names. The following object classes are served by both RIRs and DNRs:

  1. domains
  2. nameservers
  3. entities

The information served by both RIRs and DNRs for these object classes overlap extensively and are given in this document as a unified model for both classes of service.

In addition to the object classes listed above, RIRs also serve the following object classes:

  1. IP networks
  2. Autonomous System numbers

Object classes defined in this document represent a minimal set of what a compliant client/server MUST understand to function correctly, however some deployments may want to include additional object classes to suit individual needs. Anticipating this need for extension, Section 3.2 of this document defines a mechanism for extending the JSON objects that are described in this document.

2. Terminology and Definitions

The following list describes terminology and definitions used throughout this document:

"Domain Name Registry".
"Letters, Digits, Hyphen".
data found with in an object as defined by JSON [RFC4627].
a data structure as defined by JSON [RFC4627].
object class:
the definition of members that may be found in JSON objects described in this document.
object instance:
an instantiation or specific instance of an object class.
"Registration Data Access Protocol".
"Regional Internet Registry".

3. Use of JSON

3.1. Signaling

Media type signaling for the JSON data specified in this document is specified in [I-D.ietf-weirds-using-http].

3.2. Naming

Clients processing JSON [RFC4627] responses are under no obligation to process unrecognized JSON attributes but SHOULD NOT treat them as an error. Servers MAY insert values signified by names into the JSON responses which are not specified in this document. Insertion of unspecified values into JSON responses SHOULD have names prefixed with a short identifier followed by an underscore followed by a meaningful name. The full JSON name (the prefix plus the underscore plus the meaningful name) SHOULD adhere to the character and name limitations of the prefix registry described in [I-D.ietf-weirds-using-http].

Consider the following JSON response with JSON names, all of which are specified in this document.

  "handle" : "ABC123",
  "remarks" : 
      "description" : 
        "She sells sea shells down by the sea shore.",
        "Originally written by Terry Sullivan."

Figure 1

If The Registry of the Moon desires to express information not found in this specification, it might select "lunarNic" as its identifying prefix and insert, as an example, the name "lunarNic_beforeOneSmallStep" to signify registrations occurring before the first moon landing and the name "lunarNic_harshMistressNotes" containing other descriptive text.

Consider the following JSON response with JSON names, some of which should be ignored by clients without knowledge of their meaning.

  "handle" : "ABC123",
  "lunarNic_beforeOneSmallStep" : "TRUE THAT!",
  "remarks" : 
      "description" : 
        "She sells sea shells down by the sea shore.",
        "Originally written by Terry Sullivan."
  "lunarNic_harshMistressNotes" : 
    "In space,",
    "nobody can hear you scream."

Figure 2

Insertion of unrecognized names ignored by clients may also be used for future revisions to this specification.

Clients processing JSON responses MUST be prepared for values specified in this document to be absent from a response as no JSON value listed is required to appear in a response. In other words, servers MAY remove values as is needed by the policies of the server operator.

Finally, all JSON names specified in this document are case sensitive. Both servers and clients MUST transmit and process them using the specified character case.

4. Common Data Types

JSON [RFC4627] defines the data types of a number, character string, boolean, array, object and null. This section describes the semantics and/or syntax reference for data types used in this document derived from the JSON character string.

DNRs and RIRs have registry-unique identifiers that may be used to specifically reference an object instance. The semantics of this data type as found in this document is to be a registry-unique reference to the closest enclosing object where the value is found. The data type names 'registryId', 'roid', 'nic-handle', 'registrationNo', etc. are terms often synonymous with this data type. In this document, the term 'handle' is used. The term exposed to users by clients is a presentation issue beyond the scope of this document.
IPv4 addresses:
The representation of IPv4 addresses in this document uses the dotted-decimal notation described in [RFC1166]. An example of this textual representation is ''.
IPv6 addresses:
The representation of IPv6 addresses in this document follow the forms outlined in [RFC5952]. An example of this textual representation is '2001:db8::1:0:0:1'.
country codes:
Where the identity of a geopolitical nation or country is needed, these identities are represented with the alpha-2 or 2 character country code designation as defined in [ISO.3166.1988]. The alpha-2 representation is used because it is freely available whereas the alpha-3 and numeric-3 standards are not.
LDH names:
Textual representations of DNS names where the labels of the domain are all "letters, digits, hyphen" labels as described by [RFC5890]. Trailing periods are optional.
Unicode names:
Textual representations of DNS names where one or more of the labels are U-labels as described by [RFC5890]. Trailing periods are optional.
dates and times:
The syntax for values denoting dates and times is defined in [RFC3339].
The syntax for values denoting a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) is defined by [RFC3986].

Contact information is defined using JSON vCards as described in [I-D.ietf-jcardcal-jcard]

5. Common Data Structures

This section defines common data structures used commonly in object classes.

5.1. RDAP Conformance

The first data structure is named "rdapConformance" and is simply an array of strings, each providing a hint as to the specifications used in the construction of the response. This data structure appears only in the top most object of a response.

An example rdapConformance data structure:

"rdapConformance" : 

Figure 3

The string literal "rdap_level_0" signifies conformance with this specification. When custom JSON values are inserted into responses, conformance to those custom specifications should use a string prefixed with the appropriate identifier from the IANA prefix identifier registry specified in [I-D.ietf-weirds-using-http]. For example, if the fictional Registry of the Moon wants to signify that their JSON responses are conformant with their registered extensions, the string used might be "lunarNIC_level_0".

Example rdapConformance structure with custom extensions noted:

"rdapConformance" : 

Figure 4

5.2. Links

The "links" array is found in data structures to signify links to other resources on the Internet. The relationship of these links is defined by the IANA registry described by [RFC5988].