At the APNIC Global Reports session, Elise Gerich from IANA confirmed they have begun the construction of the RDAP bootstrap registry. RDAP is the Registration Data Access Protocol, a JSON-based approach to the same problem WHOIS tries to solve but with more structure, based on HTTP access, innately more scaleable and distributed (eg via a CDN).
JSON will mean that the data is parseable by perl, python and other scripting languages making it far simpler to integrate queries into tools and systems. WHOIS is a rag-bag of undefined and different representations of the same data, only a subset of worldwide WHOIS is in RPSL format, which APNIC, AfriNIC and RIPE NCC use. RDAP is common between number registries and the ccTLD/gTLD communities, and so will permit a single client to query in both spaces.
Bootstrapping in this case refers to the small amount of initial query which will be built into all clients, based on a registry maintained at iana.org and from which all RDAP queries into address resources can be directed to the appropriate registry. IANA will hold this data and the single URL which has to be built into all clients will be in an iana.org namespace.
IANA currently operates a mix of textual forms of registry data, and adding a new type requires them to talk with the prime information consumers and builders, which in this case is the RIRs individually, reflecting their address management responsibilities. There will be a small amount of coordination work to be done between us, but things are looking good for a globally coordinated, complete system of query about Internet Number Resources.
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