Whois and Network Informaton Lookup Service

Joan Gargano <jcgargano@ucdavis.edu> Mon, 27 June 1994 05:56 UTC

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From: Joan Gargano <jcgargano@ucdavis.edu>
Subject: Whois and Network Informaton Lookup Service
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WNILS Working Group					   Joan Gargano
Internet Draft						      Ken Weiss
June 26, 1994				University of California, Davis


             Whois and Network Information Lookup Service
                               Whois++

Status Of This Memo

This Internet Draft proposes changes to the NICNAME/WHOIS protocol 
described in RFC 954.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

This document is an Internet Draft.  Internet Drafts are working 
documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), its Areas, 
and its Working Groups.  Note that other groups may also distribute 
working documents as Internet Drafts.

Internet Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six 
months.  Internet Drafts may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by 
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This Internet Draft expires December 31, 1994.


I.	Introduction

As currently defined, NICNAME/WHOIS [HARR85] service is a TCP
transaction based query/response server, running on a few specific
central machines, that provides netwide directory service to Internet
users.  The Network Information Center (NIC) maintains the central
NICNAME database and server, defined in RFC 954, providing online
look-up of individuals, network organizations, key host machines,
and other information of interest to users of the Internet.  The
usefulness of this service has lead to the development of other
distributed directory information servers and information retrieval
tools and it is anticipated more will be created.  Many sites now
maintain local directory servers with information about individuals,
departments and services at that specific site. 

Typically these directory servers are network accessible.  Local
development of these services has resulted in wide variations in
the type of data stored, access methods, search schemes, and user
interfaces.  The purpose of the Whois and Network Information Lookup
Service Working Group (WNILS) is to expand and define the standard
for WHOIS types of services, to resolve issues associated with the
variations in access and provide a consistent and predictable
service across the network.  This Internet Draft describes new
features for WHOIS to meet these goals.


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Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information  	  June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++


II.	Architecture

The WHOIS service should be provided in a client/server model.
There are no restrictions on the design of the client, provided
it is capable of passing queries to the server in the proper format,
and capturing the server's response in some useful format.  Existing
WHOIS specifications call for clients to display responses in
human-readable form.  This more general proposal does not impose
that restriction.

This paper acknowledges the existence of many distributed information
servers, and anticipates the creation of many more. To help users
locate WHOIS servers, each server should have a nameserver entry
in the form "whois.domain", i.e. whois.internic.net.


III.	Client Design and Behavior

The client provides the user interface to the WHOIS system and a
mechanism for query generation and display of the response.  The
client is responsible for providing support for paging of long
output from the server.  All clients must provide this service.
The server will not include any special characters, or make any
efforts to control output to a screen.

Special search criteria may be specified by the use of keywords
or special characters, some of which are defined in RFC 954.
Clients should be designed to make support for quoted strings
unnecessary.


IV.	Server Design and Behavior

The server should return the same information in response to a
given query consistently, regardless of the client software or
the hardware used to originate the query. Queries should be
evaluated on a case-insensitive basis. Spaces should not be
considered in searches.  A search for "La Russo" should return
both "LaRusso" and "La Russo" as matches.

There are three types of data records supported in this proposal:
records for people, hosts, and domains.


Individual records

Name			Name of the individual 		required

Organization 		Name of the organization 	required



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Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information  	  June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++

Organization-type 	Type of organization 		optional
 			(university, commercial research)
	
Work-telephone 		Work telephone number 		optional
		
Fax-telephone 		Fax telephone number 		optional
		
Work-address 		Work postal address 		optional
			
Title 			Working title or position 	optional
 			within an organization
	
Department 		Department 			optional
		
Email-address 		Email address in RFC 822 	optional
 			format for this individual
	
Handle 			A unique identifier for this 	required
 			record on the local server
	
Last-record-update 	Date this record was last 	required
			updated
		
Home-telephone 		Home telephone number 		optional
		
Home-address 		Home postal address 		optional


Host records

Hostname		Full domain name		required
IPAddress		Address				required
Sysadmin-name		System administrator name	optional
Sysadmin-phone		System administrator telephone	optional
Sysadmin-address	System administrator address	optional
Sysadmin-email		System administrator e-mail 	optional
			address
Machine-type		Type of machine			optional
OS			Operating system		optional
MX			Mail exchanger			optional
Last-record-update	Last update			optional
Info			Location of additional 		optional
			information (i.e. anonymous FTP)


Domain records

Domain-name	Domain name registered with the Network	required
		Information Center (NIC)
	
Network-address Network address associated with this 	required
		domain name

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Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information     June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++

	
Admin-name 	Name of the Administrative Contact for 	required
		this domain
	
Admin-address 	Postal address of the Administrative 	required
		Contact for this domain
		
Admin-telephone Telephone number of the Administrative 	required
		Contact for this domain

Admin-email 	Electronic mail address in RFC 822 	required
		format for the Administrative Contact 
		for this domain

Tech-name 	Name of the Technical Contact for this 	required
 		domain
	
		
Tech-address 	Postal address of the Administrative 	required
		Contact for this domain
	
Tech-telephone 	Telephone number of the Technical 	required
		Contact for this domain
	
Tech-email 	Electronic mail address in RFC 822 	required
		format for the Administrative Contact 
		for this domain

Nameservers 	Primary domain nameservers for this 	optional
		domain
	
Last-update 	Last date this record was updated	required


Search Options

A unique handle must be provided for every record in the server
database to target specific records for display.  For example,
if there are three individuals named, respectively, A. La  Russo,
B. LaRusso, and C. Larusso, then a search for "LA RUSSO" would
return all three as matches.  However, each record would have a
unique handle, i.e. LARUSSO1, LARUSSO2, and LARUSSO3. A search
for any one of these handles would return a single match for that
particular individual.  This is consistent with the RFC 954 query,
"whois !SMITH1"

Other search options which should be supported are:

whois smith 		exact match on last name




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Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information     June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++


	
whois smith,j 			exact match on last name, first name 
whois "smith,j" 		begins with "J"
whois j. Smith	
whois "j. Smith"	
	
whois smith, john 		exact match on last and first names
whois "smith, john"	
whois john Smith	
whois "john Smith"	
whois .john Smith	

whois "smith..." 		all last names beginning 
whois smith*			with Smith
whois begins smith	

whois smith?? 			all last names beginning with
				"Smith" and containing up to two
				letters after "Smith", i.e. "Smith",
				"Smithy", "Smithey" and "Smithie"

whois ends smith 		all last names ending in "smith"

whois exact A Martinez 		exact match for "A Martinez"

whois fuzzy paulson 		all last names that sound like or
				are spelled like "Paulson"

whois first Kazuko 		exact match on first name "Kazuko"

whois first begins Art		all first names beginning with "Art"

whois first fuzzy Kasuko 	all first names that sound like or are
			 	spelled like "Kasuko"

whois hamlet.ucdavis.edu	IP address and other information
whois system hamlet.ucdavis.edu	on the computer called
				hamlet.ucdavis.edu.Could be served
				by a domain name service querytype
				(QTYPE) *
 
whois system hamlet	 	IP address and other 
 				information on the computer called
				hamlet with the default domain
				appended.  Could be served by a
				domain name service querytype
				(QTYPE) *





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Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information	  June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++


whois 128.120.2.9 		domain name and other 
whois system 128.120.2.9 	information on the computer at
				specified IP address.  Could be served
				by a domain name service querytype
				(QTYPE) PTR.

whois !ucdavis-dom 		site contacts and other 
whois domain ucdavis.edu 	information on the site ucdavis


If any keywords are specified in the query, the server will complete
that specific query and return the results, even if 0 matches are
found.  If no keywords are specified, the server will interpret the
query based upon the rules above. Optionally, the server may be
configured so that if a search yields no matches, the query will
automatically be run again, but with the keyword begin inserted.

Servers must support multiple levels of detail in response to
queries.  A query yielding multiple matches should return a
short-form record for each match. A query yielding a single
match should return a long-form record. A query yielding no
matches should return context-sensitive help on expanding the
search criteria.


On-line Help

The client should return a minimal (two line) help message for
every query sent to the server. That message should identify the
database being searched and provide instructions for the user to
obtain more detailed help screens.

Additional help should be provided in special situations. The
server should recognize queries that return zero matches, and
provide a brief help message explaining how to broaden a search.
If a search returns more than 50 matches, the server should take
two actions.  First, the user should get a message explaining how
to narrow searches.  Second, the user should be offered the option
of re-specifying the search, or receiving all matching responses.
When multiple matches are found and returned to the client, the
server should add a brief help message explaining how to use handles
to narrow the search to a single record.

If the client queries for "help" or "?" then the server should
return a complete help file.  The help file should contain
information in sufficient detail for the user to understand and
access all the features of WHOIS service.





Gargano, Weiss							[6]

Internet Draft		Whois and Network Information     June 1994
			Lookup Service, Whois++


V.	Extensibility

This Internet Draft defines a limited set of data records and
fields for reliable whois queries.   Mechanisms exist [Deutsch94],
[Weider94], for whois clients to discover extended data records and
query for fields not defined in this draft.  It is recommended that
Whois clients and servers include this functionality to maximize
the extensibility and usefulness of this service. 


VI.	References

[Harr85]
Harrenstein, K., Stahl, M. Feinler, E., NICNAME/WHOIS, RFC954, SRI,
October 1985.

[Deutsch94]
Deutsch, P., Schoultz, R., Faltstrom, P., Weider, C., Architecture
of the Whois++ Service:  Internet Draft,  April 6, 1994.
	<URL:ftp://nic.merit.edu/documents/internet-drafts/
	draft-ietf-wnils-arch-00.txt>

[Weider94]
Weider, C., Fullton, J., Spero, S., Architecture of the Whois++
Index Service:  Internet Draft, March 1994.
	<URL:ftp://nic.merit.edu/documents/internet-drafts/
	draft-ietf-wnils-whois-03.txt>


VII.	Authors Addresses

Joan Gargano
Information Technology
Distributed Computing Analysis and Support
University of California
Davis, CA   95616
jcgargano@ucdavis.edu

Ken Weiss
Information Technology
Distributed Computing Analysis and Support
University of California
Davis, CA   95616
krweiss@ucdavis.edu


This Internet Draft expires December 31, 1994.





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