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Moving Forward with RDAP

Moving forward rdap 1563x886 04sep18 en

On 31 August 2018 we've posted for Public Comment a set of documents that represent a step forward in the community's work on the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP). Developed by the technical community as an eventual replacement for the WHOIS protocol, RDAP enables users to access current registration data. RDAP has several advantages over the current protocol, including support for internationalization, secure access to data, and the ability to provide differentiated access to registration data.

The ICANN organization has worked with the community in a pilot program to develop a baseline profile (or profiles) to help support implementation of this new protocol across registries and registrars. The pilot program began in September 2017 and has resulted in a proposal for gTLD RDAP profile consisting of two documents:

  • The RDAP Technical Implementation Guide [PDF 161 KB] aims to provide technical instructions to gTLD registries and registrars on how to implement the RDAP service.
  • The RDAP Response Profile [PDF, 162 KB] intends to map current policy requirements to the RDAP implementation with flexibility to incorporate future policy changes with minimal reengineering.

We encourage the community to review and provide comments on these documents, which may be updated using the feedback received prior to final adoption. As you may recall, the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data requires gTLD registries and registrars to implement an RDAP service within a 135-day period after notification from ICANN. Once this occurs, the contracted parties will begin implementing an RDAP service according to the profile, SLA, and reporting requirements. We continue to work with the contracted parties to reach agreement on proposals for gTLD RDAP SLA, and registry reporting requirements. An agreement is expected by mid-September, after which the proposals will be put for public comment.

Participation from RDAP implementers is still welcomed in the pilot program. We anticipate a new phase of work on authentication technologies, allowing users to be validated and issued credentials for querying registration data at registries and registrars. For more information on how to get involved, click here.

In parallel with the pilot program, ICANN has helped prepare for the new protocol with additional resources, such as FAQs and tools including a prototype RDAP web client that supports domain name queries to registries with RDAP servers listed in the IANA's Bootstrap Service Registry for Domain Name Space and/or the RDAP pilot. These resources are available on the updated RDAP webpage.

I would like to thank the pilot program participants for getting us this far in the RDAP process. We look forward to continuing our work with the multistakeholder community as we take next steps.


    Domain Name System
    Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."