LACNIC

Institutional

New Registration Data Query System

02/03/2015

A new system for querying registration data developed by LACNIC engineers to address the shortcomings of the traditional WHOIS service is now in production.

Known as Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), the system provides a new way to query registration data that has functions similar to WHOIS but also includes major advances and improvements and makes use of modern technologies.

Gerardo Rada, Software and Development Engineer and part of LACNIC’s technical team, noted that RDAP standardizes both how queries are submitted and the format in which responses are provided, adding that it also allows queries that include special characters.

 

Why was the new Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) service created?

RDAP is an initiative that appeared within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) with the goal of standardizing how we interact with registration data on IPs and ASNs.

 

Who participated in the development of this registration data query system?

Each Regional Internet Registry (RIR) has its own implementation. In the case of LACNIC, it was an in-house development based on code libraries developed by RIPE NCC.

 

What advantages does RDAP offer as compared to the traditional WHOIS service?

Having standardized queries and responses is a major benefit when implementing automations. Another advantage is that responses are in JSON format, which makes understanding and parsing responses much easier. In a way, RDAP enables the development of new tools, monitoring, statistics, security, notifications, systems that can be built around RDAP.

 

You’ve said that this service standardizes responses and addresses issues such as internationalization. What does this mean?

The IETF has defined exactly what the format of the queries should be and what the answers provided through RDAP should look like. This means that it should be possible to access any implementation of this technology in the same way and that responses will have exactly the same format.

As to internationalization, RDAP supports UTF-8, which means that both queries as well as responses can include every character supported by this format. In LACNIC’s case, texts in Portuguese and Spanish can include accent marks, dieresis, tildes (also known as squiggles), c-cedillas, etc.

 

Why do you believe that RDAP is easier to use or integrate with other systems?

The use of the JSON format is quite widespread and the clear way in which it presents text is easier to understand and parse. We would be hard-pressed to find a programming language that didn’t include libraries that allow integrating data in this format.

 

Why is it now possible to include special characters in queries?

Searches by patterns are an important benefit that RDAP provides as compared to the traditional WHOIS. The new service allows performing searches based on patterns. For example, if we want to find every user beginning with “ca” we could perform a query using the ca* parameter, which would send back every Carlos, Carolinas, Carmen, etc. that exists on LACNIC’s registration system.

 

For RDAP, LACNIC will introduce the use of API keys, access tokens that will allow users to receive differentiated services. What does this mean?

API keys are a way to identify users. Their use makes it possible to provide differentiated services, extending the number of queries for certain users, and even facilitates the integration of LACNIC services with third party systems.