Network Solutions and Microsoft to Advance Protocols For Distributed Internet Directory Searches

REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 29, 1997 — Network Solutions Inc., the leader in domain name registration, and Microsoft Corp. today announced an agreement to advance the development of two emerging Internet protocols designed to enable Internet searching that can scale with the continued growth of the Internet.

Referral Whois (RWhois) and the Common Indexing Protocol (CIP) will simplify the use of the Internet for a wide range of customers, from end-users to ISPs, by providing faster and easier IP and domain name allocations and searches .

“Microsoft is committed to working with Network Solutions and the Internet community to support the development of the RWhois and CIP protocols,”
said Todd Warren, general manager of the personal and business systems group at Microsoft.
“In this way, Microsoft will help ensure interoperability between its future Internet products and services and the Internet infrastructure and demonstrate its commitment to the continued development and support of the open Internet standards process.”

RWhois permits distributed search and management of domain names (e.g., names ending in .com, .net, .org) and IP addresses, allowing the information to be maintained closer to the source and in accordance with the rules of authority areas. Authority areas indicate who has assignment responsibilities for specific parts of the Domain Name System. Network Solutions originally created the RWhois protocol to search for information throughout the network of servers rather than on one centralized Whois look-up server.

“This agreement provides Network Solutions the opportunity to work with the leading developer of software products that focus on ease of use and that provide total solutions to customers who want to use the Internet as a strategic business tool,”
said Raymond Corson, senior vice president for strategic partnerships at Network Solutions.
“The huge growth in domain name assignments has required us to implement the highest-quality technology to keep pace. Network Solutions registered more than 85,000 domain names in November 1996, up over 400 percent from the same period a year ago.”

Ways the RWhois Protocol Will Enhance Internet Infrastructure

RWhois is a comprehensive, integrated management protocol tool that allows the user to maintain and manage IP address space and domain name allocation and to perform referral directory look-ups from a single, cohesive platform. RWhois is an open protocol supported by the Internet Engineering Task Force and integrates with all existing protocols. The protocol has already been adopted by major ISPs to enhance management of IP address space.

The RWhois protocol may be used to redirect the search for the servers that are
to the requested information. This ensures that users receive responses that are most pertinent to their search, thus providing rapid and efficient searches. In addition, because RWhois handles both hierarchical data (e.g., e-mail) and nonhierarchical data (e.g., addresses and proper names), it also allows greater precision of response than current Whois tools.

Common Indexing Protocol Results in Quicker, More Efficient Searches

CIP capabilities are designed to enhance search functions across multiple servers. By indexing sections of global directory services, CIP allows rapid and efficient resolution of distributed searches – searches that span the contents of multiple servers. The cross-protocol search capabilities will allow different directory services to be indexed (e.g., LDAP, Whois++, RWhois). These indexing capabilities focus the search query, reduce network traffic, and result in an efficient directory search.

Founded in 1979, Network Solutions has grown to be one of the pre-eminent Internet service companies. As the registrar for .com, .net, .org, .edu and .gov, Network Solutions processes over half a million voice, fax and e-mail requests for support each month. In addition to providing domain registration, Network Solutions manages the allocation of all IP addresses in the Americas, supports the research and education community by sponsoring InfoScout and Net-Happenings, and co-sponsors the 1997 Global School Net awards. Network Solutions also provides intranet consulting services, focusing on IP re-engineering, network security, network design and network management. Network Solutions was acquired by Science Application International Corp. (SAIC) in March 1995 and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary. For more information, see ( or (

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