Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 1758
Obsoletes: 1417, 1295, 1255, 1218
Category: Informational
The North American Directory Forum
February 1995

NADF Standing Documents:

A Brief Overview

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.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction .........................................    1
   1.1 Document Availability ...............................    3
   1.1.1 Hardcopy ..........................................    4
   1.1.2 Anonymous FTP .....................................    4
   Security Considerations .................................    4
   Author's Address ........................................    4

1. Introduction

The North American Directory Forum (NADF) is a collection of service providers which plans to cooperatively offer a Public Directory Service in North America using the CCITT X.500 Recommendations. Although many groups are working on realizing X.500, the NADF is unique in that it must achieve a cooperative service offered by competing providers.

The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of the NADF's Standing Document series. As of this writing, the standing documents are:

                No                           Title
               ----    ------------------------------------------------
               SD-0    NADF Standing Documents: A Brief Overview
               SD-1    Terms of Reference
               SD-2    Program Plan
               SD-3    Service Description
               SD-4    The Directory Schema
               SD-5    An X.500 Naming Scheme for National DIT Subtrees
                           and Its Application for c=CA and c=US
               SD-6    Guidelines on Naming and Subtrees
               SD-7    Mapping the North American DIT
                           onto Directory Management Domains
               SD-8    The Experimental Pilot Plan
               SD-9    Charter, Procedures and Operations of the
                       Central Administration for NADF
               SD-10   Security & Privacy: Policy & Services
               SD-11   Directory Security: Mechanisms and Practicality
               SD-12   Registry of ADDMD Names
               SD-13   NADF Accounting and Settlements

SD-1 defines the scope of the NADF, whilst SD-2 describes issue of interest to the NADF.

The remaining documents describe the agreements necessary to achieve a cooperative Public Directory Service offered by competing providers. In this context, it should be observed that the NADF relies on X.500(88) to the largest extent possible.

SD-3 contains agreements concerning the Directory "service", e.g., quality of service, whilst SD-4 contains agreements concerning the Directory schema.

SD-5 concerns itself with how a national authority should structure its DIT subtree, and then applies these principles to define the naming scheme for the c=CA and c=US parts of the DIT. The NADF's approach is to divide a national DIT subtree into two portions: the public name-space, which corresponds to information objects having some sort of public recognition (e.g., states, counties, businesses, etc.), and several private name-spaces, each unilaterally managed by a public provider of Directory services. (SD-12 defines the registry of these providers.) Based on the civil standing of an entity, that entity may opt to list as one or more entries in the public name- space. That is, registration, per se, occurs outside of the Directory. This is an important concept as it allows an entity to list where others are likely to search.

SD-6 provides guidelines as to how organizations might wish to organize their private name-space, and also discusses how multi- nationals might choose to list themselves.

SD-7 contains agreements concerning how the DIT is mapped onto multiple DMDs. Knowledge maintenance procedures are absent from X.500(88), and products which support X.500(92) are years away. Further, the competitive relationships between the North American Directory providers invalidate any possibility of a single entity having exclusive management rights to the public name-space. The NADF approach is to cooperatively manage the public name-space by allowing each service provider to provide linkage from the public name-space into their own private name-space. This information is limited to knowledge references and naming links; there is little, if any, payload present. SD-9 discusses how a central authority (termed the CAN) coordinates and disseminates this information. In effect, the CAN publishes a roadmap for North American Public Directory Service.

SD-8 describes agreements reached for the NADF Pilot.

SD-10 describes the NADF policy toward security and privacy. Attachment 1 of SD-10 contains the "User Bill of Rights for entries and listings in the Public Directory". In contrast, SD-11 describes the security facilities available in the Directory, and then specifies which mechanisms which will be used in the Public Directory service.

SD-12 provides a registry of ADDMD names in the NADF project.

SD-13 provides a model and general principles for accounting and settlement in the directory.

1.1. Document Availability

At the present time, the NADF standing documents are available only in hardcopy and PostScript form. Since they do not exist in ASCII form, the NADF standing documents can not be distributed as informational RFCs. Following are the various distribution mechanisms available.

1.1.1. Hardcopy


NADF Secretariat
c/o Rapport Communication
2721 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20007

               Tel:    +1 202 342 2727
               Fax:    +1 202 625 4101

E-Mail: Ted Myer <>

1.1.2. Anonymous FTP

               area:   /pub/nadf/nadf-docs
               files:  sd-*.ps
               mode:   ascii

Security Considerations

Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

   North American Directory Forum
   c/o Theodore H. Myer
   Rapport Communication
   2721 N Street NW
   Washington, DC  20007
   Phone: +1 202-342-2727