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ICANN Launches New Tool to Verify Conformance with RDAP Requirements

3 February 2022

This week ICANN organization released a tool that enables top-level domain (TLD) registry operators and registrars with Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) services to ensure conformance with implementation requirements developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and, optionally, the gTLD RDAP profile.

The new RDAP conformance tool is available here.

RDAP is a protocol developed by the IETF's technical community. This next-generation protocol delivers registration data for domain names and Internet number resources (e.g., Internet Protocol addresses), but with improved standardized query and response formats. RDAP has several other advantages over the WHOIS protocol, including support for internationalization, secure access to data, and the ability to provide differentiated access to registration data.

The RDAP conformance tool gives users the ability to look up publicly available registration data from domain names, entities, and nameservers to verify that it follows the required RDAP implementation standards including:

The tool also offers the option to check for conformance against the February 2019 gTLD RDAP profile. The gTLD RDAP profile aims to provide technical instructions to generic TLD registries and registrars on how to implement the RDAP service in a consistent way, following the requirements of the Interim Registration Data Policy for gTLDs.

In total, the RDAP conformance tool can perform 212 checks against current industry RDAP standards (typically referred to as RFCs), and 74 checks against the gTLD RDAP profile.

The results of these checks are aggregated into a report indicating the list of nonconforming elements found in the RDAP response identified by an error code and descriptive message. The complete list of conformance tests supported can be found in the RDAP conformance tool documentation.

Tool details

  • Offered as open source for free, under the Apache License version 2.0
  • Developed in Java 11
  • Executable JAR file runs in a command line interpreter
  • Configurable to enable or disable specific tests as needed

Future work

ICANN org expects to add new functionality to the RDAP conformance tool, including support for verification of responses using the JSContact data structure (see JSContact: A JSON Representation of Contact Data; draft-ietf-jmap-jscontact), support for future versions of the gTLD RDAP profile, as well as to evaluate the incorporation of other RDAP extensions and RFC updates as they become available.

Questions regarding the RDAP conformance tool or RDAP should be directed to ICANN Global Support.


Eduardo Alvarez

Director, Technical Services Operations