Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1562
Category: Informational
G. Michaelson
The University of Queensland
M. Prior
The University of Adelaide
December 1993

Naming Guidelines for the AARNet X.500 Directory Service

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.


This document is an AARNet (Australian Academic and Research Network) Engineering Note (AEN-001). AARNet Engineering Notes are engineering documents of the AARNet Engineering Working Group, and record current or proposed operational practices related to the provision of Internetworking services within Australia, and AARNet in particular.


AARNet is a member network of the global Internet and participates in the global Internet X.500 based Directory Service. A number of RFC's have been issued that make recommendations that alter or supplement the OSI/ETU standards for X.500 [1]. In general, these RFCs will be followed by the AARNet Directory Service. However, in certain cases we wish to align ourselves with our national ISO body (Standards Australia) rather than the Internet where they conflict. In naming, we have chosen to align ourselves with Standards Australia and this document notes the difference in our approach to the Internet guidelines suggested in RFC 1384 [2].

1. Introduction

The intended audience of this document is the administrators (or potential administrators) of an X.500 Directory System Agent (DSA). It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the relevant Internet documents, especially RFC 1384.

2. The Australian X.500 domain

Standards Australia (SAA) have produced a document [3] that describes the organisation of the Australian X.500 namespace. It is considered that, as far as possible, we should align the AARNet Directory Service with these requirements in order to provide a smooth transition to an Australian Directory Service as ultimately the OSI Registration Authority of Standards Australia has naming authority for the DIT subtree underneath the node "c=AU".

The SAA document defines only two types of objects that can be placed directly below the c=AU node in the DIT, organisations with nationally recognised names and localities representing the states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia.

It is intended to follow this scheme with one modification. The recommendation doesn't indicate where ADMD and PRMD names should be registered and so these objects will be treated as for organisations with nationally recognised names.

3. Entries representing DSAs

The naming convention currently used by the Internet leads to a large amount of clutter due to organisational DSAs being named directly under the country node. The "normal" user of a directory service isn't interested in the mechanics of the service and so the presence of these entries in such a prominent location is unfortunate. In order to avoid this clutter, and to conform to SAA requirements, we have created a pseudo organisation called DMD where all Australian DSAs should be registered.

Rather than continue the Quipu tradition of naming DSAs after endangered South American animals, in Australia, it is suggested that DSAs be named after Australian fauna.

4. Entries representing the states and territories of Australia

Immediately subordinate to the Australian entry are locality objects representing the eight states and territories of the Commonwealth of Australia. The RDN of these entries will use the stateOrProvinceName attribute and have values consisting of the standard Australian two or three letter abbreviations for the particular state of territory.

5. Entries representing organisations

SAA recommends that organisations are registered as immediate subordinates of either the Australian entry or of the eight states and territories depending on the uniqueness of the organisation's name.

Organisations that can demonstrate that they have a name unique within Australia (for example, if it has been allocated a name by an organisation that can guarantee this uniqueness such as the Australian Securities Commission) may be added immediately beneath the Australian entry. If the name is only unique within a specific state or territory, then the entry must be added immediately beneath the state entry.

The names chosen for the distinguished name of an organisation must be the officially registered name of the organisation and have a maximum length of 64 characters, but other more familiar names can be added as additional organisation names to aid searching.

6. Entries representing residential people

An individual may be registered in the directory and their entry will be placed subordinate to the entry for their state of residence. The RDN of such an entry will be composed of a combination of their common name and their street address.

7. References

   [1] CCITT: The Directory -- Overview of concepts, models and services,
       December 1988. CCITT X.500 Series Recommendations.
   [2] Barker P., and S. Hardcastle-Kille, "Naming Guidelines for
       Directory Pilots", RFC 1384, University College London, ISODE
       Consortium, January 1993.

[3] Standards Australia: Naming and addressing in the Australian

OSI Environment. SAA MP59-1991.

Security Considerations

Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Authors' Addresses

George G. Michaelson
The Prentice Centre
The University of Queensland
St Lucia, Q 4072

   Phone: +61 7 365 4079
   Fax:   +61 7 365 4477

Mark R. Prior
Information Technology Division
The University of Adelaide
Adelaide, SA 5005

   Phone: +61 8 303 5680
   Fax:   +61 8 303 4400