RFC 1834 (rfc1834) - Page 1 of 7


Whois and Network Information Lookup Service, Whois++



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Network Working Group                                         J. Gargano
Request for Comments: 1834                                      K. Weiss
Category: Informational                  University of California, Davis
                                                             August 1995


              Whois and Network Information Lookup Service
                                Whois++

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

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 memo describes new features for WHOIS to
   meet these goals.

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



Gargano & Weiss              Informational


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