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Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Pilot Program Launches

5 September 2017

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The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) today announced a voluntary Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) pilot program, which will begin on 5 September 2017 and conclude on 31 July 2018. RDAP enables users to access current registration data and was created as a replacement for the WHOIS protocol.

The goal of the pilot program is to develop a baseline profile (or profiles) to guide implementation, establish an implementation target date, and develop a plan for the implementation of an RDAP-based solution. Proceeding with a pilot program will provide an opportunity for Registration Data Services (RDS) operators to gain operational experience and for producers and consumers of RDS data to participate and provide valuable feedback.

The voluntary RDAP pilot program was initiated at the request [PDF, 93 KB] of the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group, with the support of the Registrar Stakeholder Group. Interested parties can participate in the pilot as described in the community wiki workspace.

About RDAP

Some of RDAP advantages over WHOIS protocol include:

  • Standardized query, response and error messages.
  • Secure access to data (i.e., over HTTPS).
  • Extensibility (e.g., makes it easy to add output elements).
  • A bootstrapping mechanism that makes it easy to find the authoritative server for a given query.
  • Redirection/reference mechanism (e.g., from a thin registry to a registrar).
  • Builds on top of the well-known web protocol HTTP.
  • Internationalization support for registration data.
  • Provides the option to enable differentiated access (e.g., limited access for anonymous users and full access for authenticated users).

For more information, send an email to globalsupport@icann.org with "RDAP Pilot Program" in the subject line.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.