Network Working Group                                          C. Weider
Request for Comments: 1309                                           ANS
FYI: 14                                                      J. Reynolds
                                                                S. Heker
                                                              March 1992

                Technical Overview of Directory Services
                        Using the X.500 Protocol

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
   not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is


   This document is an overview of the X.500 standard for people not
   familiar with the technology. It compares and contrasts Directory
   Services based on X.500 with several of the other Directory services
   currently in use in the Internet. This paper also describes the
   status of the standard and provides references for further
   information on X.500 implementations and technical information.

   A primary purpose of this paper is to illustrate the vast
   functionality of the X.500 protocol and to show how it can be used to
   provide a global directory for human use, and can support other
   applications which would benefit from directory services, such as
   main programs.

   This FYI RFC is a product of the Directory Information Services
   (pilot) Infrastructure Working Group (DISI).  A combined effort of
   the User Services and the OSI Integration Areas of the Internet
   Engineering Task Force (IETF).


   As the pace of industry, science, and technological development
   quickened over the past century, it became increasingly probable that
   someone in a geographically distant location would be trying to solve
   the same problems you were trying to solve, or that someone in a
   geographically distant location would have some vital information
   which impinged on your research or business.  The stupendous growth
   in the telecommunications industry, from telegraphs to telephones to
   computer networks, has alleviated the problem of being able to

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   communicate with another person, PROVIDED THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO REACH

   Thus, along with the expansion of the telecommunications
   infrastructure came the development of Directory Services. In this
   paper, we will discuss various models of directory services, the
   limitations of current models, and some solutions provided by the
   X.500 standard to these limitations.


2.1  The telephone company's directory services.

   A model many people think of when they hear the words "Directory
   Services" is the directory service provided by the local telephone
   company. A local telephone company keeps an on-line list of the names
   of people with phone service, along with their phone numbers and
   their address. This information is available by calling up Directory
   Assistance, giving the name and address of the party whose number you
   are seeking, and waiting for the operator to search his database. It
   is additionally available by looking in a phone book published yearly
   on paper.

   The phone companies are able to offer this invaluable service because
   they administer the pool of phone numbers. However, this service has
   some limitations. For instance, you can find someone's number only if
   you know their name and the city or location in which they live. If
   two or more people have listings for the same name in the same
   locality, there is no additional information which with to select the
   correct number. In addition, the printed phone book can have
   information which is as much as a year out of date, and the phone
   company's internal directory can be as much as two weeks out of date.
   A third problem is that one actually has to call Directory assistance
   in a given area code to get information for that area; one cannot
   call a single number consistently.

   For businesses which advertise in the Yellow Pages, there is some
   additional information stored for each business; unfortunately, that
   information is unavailable through Directory Assistance and must be
   gleaned from the phone book.

2.2 Some currently available directory services on the Internet.

   As the Internet is comprised of a vast conglomeration of different
   people, computers, and computer networks, with none of the hierarchy
   imposed by the phone system on the area codes and exchange prefixes,
   any directory service must be able to deal with the fact that the
   Internet is not structured; for example, the hosts and

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992 may be on opposite sides of the world, the .edu domain
   maps onto an enormous number of organizations, etc.  Let's look at a
   few of the services currently available on the Internet for directory
   type services.

2.2.1 The finger protocol.

   The finger protocol, which has been implemented for UNIX systems and
   a small number of other machines, allows one to "finger" a specific
   person or username to a host running the protocol. This is invoked by
   typing, for example, "finger". A certain set
   of information is returned, as this example from a UNIX system finger
   operation shows, although the output format is not specified by the

      Login name: clw                   In real life: Chris Weider
      Directory: /usr/clw               Shell: /bin/csh
      On since Jul 25 09:43:42          4 hours 52 minutes Idle Time
      Home: 971-5581

   where the first three lines of information are taken from the UNIX
   operating systems information and the line(s) of information
   following the "Plan:" line are taken from a file named .plan which
   each user modifies.  Limitations of the fingerd program include: a)
   One must already know which host to finger to find a specific person,
   b) since primarily UNIX machines run fingerd, people who reside on
   other types of operating systems are not locateable by this method,
   c) fingerd is often disabled on UNIX systems for security purposes,
   d) if one wishes to be found on more than one system, one must make
   sure that all the .plan files are consistent, and e) there is no way
   to search the .plan files on a given host to (for example) find
   everyone on who works on X.500.  Thus, fingerd has
   a limited usefulness as a piece of the Internet Directory.

2.2.2 whois

   The whois utility, which is available on a wide of variety of
   systems, works by querying a centralized database maintained at the
   DDN NIC, which was for many years located at SRI International in
   Menlo Park, California, and is now located at GSI. This database
   contains a large amount of information which primarily deals with
   people and equipment which is used to build the Internet.  SRI (and
   now GSI) has been able to collect the information in the WHOIS
   database as part of its role as the Network Information Center for
   the TCP/IP portion of the Internet.

   The whois utility is ubiquitous, and has a very simple interface. A

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   typical whois query look like:

      whois Reynolds

   and returns information like:

      Reynolds, John F. (JFR22) 532JFR@DOM1.NWAC.SEA06.NAVY.MIL
                                           (702) 426-2604 (DSN) 830-2604
      Reynolds, John J. (JJR40) amsel-lg-pl-a@MONMOUTH-EMH3.ARMY.MIL
                                           (908) 532-3817 (DSN) 992-3817
      Reynolds, John W. (JWR46) EAAV-AP@SEOUL-EMH1.ARMY.MIL
                                           (DSN) 723-3358
      Reynolds, Joseph T. (JTR10)  JREYNOLDS@PAXRV-NES.NAVY.MIL
                                       011-63-47-885-3194 (DSN) 885-3194
      Reynolds, Joyce K. (JKR1) JKREY@ISI.EDU             (213) 822-1511
      Reynolds, Keith (KR35)    keithr@SCO.CO             (408) 425-7222
      Reynolds, Kenneth (KR94)                            (502) 454-2950
      Reynolds, Kevin A. (KR39)    REYNOLDS@DUGWAY-EMH1.ARMY.MIL
                                           (801) 831-5441 (DSN) 789-5441
      Reynolds, Lee B. (LBR9)   reynolds@TECHNET.NM.ORG   (505) 345-6555

      a further lookup on Joyce Reynolds with this command line:

      whois JKR1


      Reynolds, Joyce K. (JKR1)               JKREY@ISI.EDU
         University of Southern California
         Information Sciences Institute
         4676 Admiralty Way
         Marina del Rey, CA 90292
         (310) 822-1511

         Record last updated on 07-Jan-91.

   The whois database also contains information about Domain Name System
   (DNS) and has some information about hosts, major regional networks,
   and large parts of the MILNET system.

   The WHOIS database is large enough and comprehensive enough to
   exhibit many of the flaws of a large centralized database: a) As the
   database is maintained on one machine, a processor bottleneck forces
   slow response during times of peak querying activity, even if many of
   these queries are unrelated, b) as the database is maintained on one
   machine, a storage bottleneck forces the database administrators to
   severely limit the amount of information which can be kept on each
   entry in the database, c) all changes to the database have to be

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   mailed to a "hostmaster" and then physically reentered into the
   database, increasing both the turnaround time and the likelihood for
   a mistake in transcription.

2.2.3 The Domain Name System

   The Domain Name System is used in the Internet to keep track of host
   to IP address mapping. The basic mechanism is that each domain, such
   as or, is registered with the NIC, and at time of
   registration, a primary and (perhaps) some secondary nameservers are
   identified for that domain. Each of these nameservers must provide
   host name to IP address mapping for each host in the domain. Thus,
   the nameservice is supplied in a distributed fashion. It is also
   possible to split a domain into subdomains, with a different
   nameserver for each subdomain.

   Although in many cases one uses the DNS without being aware of it,
   because humans prefer to remember names and not IP addresses, it is
   possible to interactively query the DNS with the nslookup utility. A
   sample session using the nslookup utility: nslookup
      Default Server:




      Name:  []

   Thus, we can explicitly determine the address associated with a given
   host.  Reverse name mapping is also possible with the DNS, as in this

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992 traceroute
      traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
        1 t3peer ( 11 ms 5 ms 5 ms
        2 enss ( 6 ms 6 ms 6 ms
        9 ( 51 ms 43 ms 49 ms
       10 ( 53 ms 53 ms 46 ms

   At each hop of the traceroute, the program attempts to do a reverse
   lookup through the DNS and displays the results when successful.

   Although the DNS has served superlatively for the purpose it was
   developed, i.e. to allow maintenance of the namespace in a
   distributed fashion, and to provide very rapid lookups in the
   namespace, there are, of course, some limitations. Although there has
   been some discussion of including other types of information in the
   DNS, to find a given person at this time, assuming you know where she
   works, you have to use a combination of the DNS and finger to even
   make a stab at finding her. Also, the DNS has very limited search
   capabilities right now. The lack of search capabilities alone shows
   that we cannot provide a rich Directory Service through the DNS.


   X.500 is a CCITT protocol which is designed to build a distributed,
   global directory.  It offers the following features:

   * Decentralized Maintenance:
     Each site running X.500 is responsible ONLY for its local part
     of the Directory, so updates and maintenance can be done instantly.

   * Powerful Searching Capabilities:
     X.500 provides powerful searching facilities that allow users to
     construct arbitrarily complex queries.

   * Single Global Namespace:
     Much like the DNS, X.500 provides a single homogeneous namespace
     to users.  The X.500 namespace is more flexible and expandable
     than the DNS.

   * Structured Information Framework:
     X.500 defines the information framework used in the directory,
     allowing local extensions.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   * Standards-Based Directory:
     As X.500 can be used to build a standards-based directory,
     applications which require directory information (e-mail,
     automated resource locators, special-purpose directory tools)
     can access a planet's worth of information in a uniform manner,
     no matter where they are based or currently running.

3.1 Acronym City, or How X.500 Works

   The '88 version of the X.500 standard talks about 3 models required
   to build the X.500 Directory Service: the Directory Model, the
   Information Model, and the Security Model. In this section, we will
   provide a brief overview of the Directory and Information Models
   sufficient to explain the vast functionality of X.500.

3.1.1 The Information Model

   To illustrate the Information Model, we will first show how
   information is held in the Directory, then we will show what types of
   information can be held in the Directory, and then we will see how
   the information is arranged so that we can retrieve the desired
   pieces from the Directory. Entries

   The primary construct holding information in the Directory is the
   "entry".  Each Directory entry contains information about one object;
   for example, a person, a computer network, or an organization. Each
   entry is built from a collection of "attributes", each of which holds
   a single piece of information about the object. Some attributes which
   might be used to build an entry for a person would be "surname",
   "telephonenumber", "postaladdress", etc. Each attribute has an
   associated "attribute syntax", which describes the type of data that
   attribute contains, for example, photo data, a time code, or a string
   of letters and numbers. As an example, let's look at part of an entry
   for a person.

  Entry for John Smith contains:

    attribute ---> surName=              Smith  <--- attribute value
             |---> telephoneNumber=   999-9999  <--- attribute value
             |---> title=              Janitor  <--- attribute value

   The attribute syntax for the surName attribute would be
   CaseIgnoreString, which would tell X.500 that surName could contain
   any string, and case would not matter; the attribute syntax for the
   telephoneNumber attribute would be TelephoneNumber, which would

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   specify that telephoneNumber could contain a string composed of
   digits, dashes, parenthesis, and a plus sign.  The attribute syntax
   for the title attribute would also be CaseIgnoreString.  A good
   analogy in database terms for what we've seen so far might be to
   think of a Directory entry as a database record, an attribute as a
   field in that record, and an attribute syntax as a field type
   (decimal number, string) for a field in a record. Object Classes

   At this point in our description of the information model, we have no
   way of knowing what type of object a given entry represents. X.500
   uses the concept of an "object class" to specify that information,
   and an attribute named "objectClass" which each entry contains to
   specify to which object class(es) the entry belongs.

   Each object class in X.500 has a definition which lists the set of
   mandatory attributes, which must be present, and a set of optional
   attributes, which may be present, in an entry of that class. An given
   object class A may be a subclass of another class B, in which case
   object class A inherits all the mandatory and optional attributes of
   B in addition to its own.

   The object classes in X.500 are arranged in a hierarchical manner
   according to class inheritance; the following diagram shows a part of
   the object class hierarchy.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

                         |             | "top" has one mandatory
                         | top         | attribute "objectClass",
                         |_____________| and nooptional attributes.
                          |     |    |
                          |     |    | every other object class is a
          ________________|     |    | subclass of "top"...
          |                     |   ...
    ______|________        _____|_______
   |               |     |               |"organization" inherits one
   | country       |     | organization  |mandatory attribute from
   |_______________|     |_______________|"top", "objectClass"; adds one
                                          more mandatory attribute "O"
 "country" inherits one                   (for organization), and has
 mandatory attribute from "top",          many optional attributes. Any
 "objectClass", adds one more             subclass of "organization"
 mandatory attribute "c" (for             would inherit all of the
 country), and has two optional           mandatory and optional
 attributes, "description" and            attributes from "organization"
 "searchGuide". Any subclass of           including the attribute which
 "country" would inherit all of the       "organization" inherited
 mandatory and optional attributes        from "top".
 of the "country" class, including
 the attribute which "country"
 inherited from "top".

                               Figure 1.

   One major benefit of the object class concept is that it is in many
   cases very easy to create a new object class which is only a slight
   modification or extension of a previous class. For example, if I have
   already defined an object class for "person" which contains a
   person's name, phone number, address, and fax number, I can easily
   define an "Internet person" object class by defining "Internet
   person" as a subclass of "person", with the additional optional
   attribute of "e-mail address". Thus in my definition of the "Internet
   Person" object class, all my "person" type attributes are inherited
   from "person". There are other benefits which are beyond the scope of
   this paper. X.500's namespace.

   X.500 hierarchically organizes the namespace in the Directory
   Information Base (DIB); recall that this hierarchical organization is
   called the Directory Information Tree (DIT).  Each entry in the DIB
   occupies a certain location in the DIT. An entry which has no
   children is called a leaf entry, an entry which has children is
   called a non-leaf node. Each entry in the DIT contains one or more

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   attributes which together comprise the Relative Distinguished Name
   (RDN) of that entry, there is a "root" entry (which has no
   attributes, a special case) which forms the base node of the DIT. The
   Distinguished Name of a specific entry is the sequence of RDNs of the
   entries on the path from the root entry to the entry in question. A
   diagram here will help to clarify this:

Level of DIT              Root            RDN      Distinguished Name

root                       *             nothing        { }
                         / | \
country (other          /  |  \
things at this         /   |   \         c=us         {c=us}
level)           c=gb    c=us    c=ca
                        /  |  \
                       /   |   \
                      /    |    \
organization      o=SRI  o=Merit  o=DEC  o=Merit      {c=us, o=Merit}
(other things           /  |   \
at this level)         /   |    \
                      /    |     \
Third level          cn=Chris Weider     cn=Chris Weider {c=us, o=Merit,
                                                        cn=Chris Weider}

       Figure 2: Building a DN from RDNs (adapted from a
          diagram in the X.500 (88) Blue Book)

   Each entry in this tree contains more attributes than have been shown
   here, but in each case only one attribute for each entry has been
   used for that entry's RDN. As noted above, any entry in the tree
   could use more than one attribute to build its RDN. X.500 also allows
   the use of alias names, so that the entry {c=us, o=Merit, cn=Chris
   Weider} could be also found through an alias entry such as {c=us,
   o=SRI, ou=FOX Project, cn=Drone 1} which would point to the first

3.1.2 The Directory Model

   Now that we've seen what kinds of information can be kept in the
   Directory, we should look at how the Directory stores this
   information and how a Directory users accesses the information. There
   are two components of this model: a Directory User Agent (DUA), which
   accesses the Directory on behalf of a user, and the Directory System
   Agent, which can be viewed as holding a particular subset of the DIB,
   and can also provide an access point to the Directory for a DUA.

   Now, the entire DIB is distributed through the world-wide collection
   of DSAs which form the Directory, and the DSAs employ two techniques

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   to allow this distribution to be transparent to the user, called
   "chaining" and "referral".  The details of these two techniques would
   take up another page, so it suffices to say that to each user, it
   appears that the entire global directory is on her desktop. (Of
   course, if the information requested is on the other side of the
   world, it may seem that the desktop directory is a bit slow for that

3.2 The functionality of X.500

   To describe the functionality of X.500, we will need to separate
   three stages in the evolution of X.500: 1) the 1988 standard, 2)
   X.500 as implemented in QUIPU, and 3) the (proposed) 1992 standard.
   We will list some of the features described in the 1988 standard,
   show how they were implemented in QUIPU, and discuss where the 1992
   standard will take us.  The QUIPU implementation was chosen because
   a) it is widely used in the U.S. and European Directory Services
   Pilot projects, and b) it works well. For a survey of other X.500
   implementations and a catalogue of DUAs, see [Lang].

3.2.1 Functionality in X.500 (88)

   There are a number of advantages that the X.500 Directory accrues
   simply by virtue of the fact that it is distributed, not limited to a
   single machine. Among these are:

   * An enormously large potential namespace.
     Since the Directory is not limited to a single machine, many
     hundreds of machines can be used to store Directory entries.

   * The ability to allow local administration of local data.
     An organization or group can run a local DSA to master their
     information, facilitating much more accurate data throughout
     the Directory.

   The functionality built into the X.500(88) standard includes:

   * Advanced searching capabilities.
     The Directory supports arbitrarily complex searches at an
     attribute level. As the object classes a specific entry
     belongs to is maintained in the objectClass attribute, this
     also allows Directory searches for specific types of objects.
     Thus, one could search the c=US subtree for anyone with a last
     name beginning with S, who also has either a fax number in the
     (313) area code or an e-mail address ending in
     This feature of X.500 also helps to provide the basic
     functionality for a Yellow Pages service.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   * A uniform namespace with local extensibility.
     The Directory provides a uniform namespace, but local
     specialized directories can also be implemented.  Locally
     defined extensions can include new object classes, new
     attributes, and new attribute types.

   * Security issues.
     The X.500 (88) standards define two types of security for
     Directory data: Simple Authentication (which uses passwords),
     and Strong Authentication (which uses cryptographic keys).
     Simple authentication has been widely implemented, strong
     authentication has been less widely implemented.  Each of
     these authentication techniques are invoked when a user or
     process attempts a Directory operation through a DUA.

   In addition to the global benefits of the X.500 standard, there are
   many local benefits. One can use their local DSA for company or
   campus wide directory services; for example, the University of
   Michigan is providing all the campus directory services through
   X.500. The DUAs are available for a wide range of platforms,
   including X-Windows systems and Macintoshes.

3.2.2 Functionality added by QUIPU.

   Functionality beyond the X.500 (88) standard implemented by QUIPU

   * Access control lists.
     An access control list is a way to provide security for each
     attribute of an entry.  For example, each attribute in a given
     entry can be permitted for detect, compare, read, and modify
     permissions based on the reader's membership in various groups.
     For example, one can specify that some information in a given
     entry is public, some can be read only by members of the
     organization, and some can only be modified by the owner of
     the entry.

   * Replication.
     Replication provides a method whereby frequently accessed
     information in a DSA other than the local one can be kept by
     the local DSA on a "slave" basis, with updates of the "slave"
     data provided automatically by QUIPU from the "master" data
     residing on the foreign DSA.  This provides alternate access
     points to that data, and can make searches and retrievals
     more rapid as there is much less overhead in the form or
     network transport.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

3.3 Current limitations of the X.500 standard and implementations.

   As flexible and forward looking as X.500 is, it certainly was not
   designed to solve everyone's needs for all time to come. X.500 is not
   a general purpose database, nor is it a Data Base Management System
   (DBMS). X.500 defines no standards for output formats, and it
   certainly doesn't have a report generation capability. The technical
   mechanisms are not yet in place for the Directory to contain
   information about itself, thus new attributes and new attribute types
   are rather slowly distributed (by hand).

   Searches can be slow, for two reasons: a) searches across a widely
   distributed portion of the namespace (c=US, for example) has a delay
   which is partially caused by network transmission times, and can be
   compounded by implementations that cache the partial search returns
   until everyone has reported back, and b) some implementations are
   slow at searching anyway, and this is very sensitive to such things
   as processor speed and available swap space.  Another implementation
   "problem" is a tradeoff with security for the Directory: most
   implementations have an administrative limit on the amount of
   information which can be returned for a specific search.  For
   example, if a search returns 1000 hits, 20 of those might be
   displayed, with the rest lost. Thus a person performing a large
   search might have to perform a number of small searches.  This was
   implemented because an organization might want to make it hard to
   "troll" for the organization's entire database.

   Also, there is at the moment no clear consensus on the ideal shape of
   the DIT, or on the idea structure of the object tree.  This can make
   it hard to add to the current corpus of X.500 work, and the number of
   RFCs on various aspects of the X.500 deployment is growing monthly.

   Despite this, however, X.500 is very good at what it was designed to
   do; i.e., to provide primary directory services and "resource
   location" for a wide band oftypes of information.

3.4 Things to be added in X.500 (92).

   The 1988 version of the X.500 standard proved to be quite sufficient
   to start building a Directory Service. However, many of the new
   functions implemented in QUIPU were necessary if the Directory were
   to function in a reasonable manner. X.500 (92) will include
   formalized and standardized versions of those advances, including

   * A formalized replication procedure.

   * Enhanced searching capacities.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

   * Formalization of access control mechanisms, including access
     control lists.

   Each of these will provide a richer Directory, but you don't have to
   wait for them! You can become part of the Directory today!


4.1 Current applications of X.500

   X.500 is filling Directory Services needs in a large number of
   countries.  As a directory to locate people, it is provided in the
   U.S. as the White Pages Pilot Project, run by PSI, and in Europe
   under the PARADISE Project as a series of nation-wide pilots.  It is
   also being used by the FOX Project in the United States to provide
   WHOIS services for people and networks, and to provide directories of
   objects as disparate as NIC Profiles and a pilot K-12 Educators
   directory. It is also being investigated for its ability to provide
   resource location facilities and to provide source location for WAIS
   servers. In fact, in almost every area where one could imagine
   needing a directory service (particularly for distributed directory
   services), X.500 is either providing those services or being expanded
   to provide those services.

   In particular, X.500 was envisioned by its creators as providing
   directory services for electronic mail, specifically for X.400. It is
   being used in this fashion today at the University of Michigan:
   everyone at the University has a unified mail address, e.g. An X.500 server then reroutes that mail to
   the appropriate user's real mail address in a transparent fashion.
   Similarly, Sprint is using X.500 to administrate the address space
   for its internal X.400 mail systems.

   Those of us working on X.500 feel that X.500's strengths lie in
   providing directory services for people and objects, and for
   providing primary resource location for a large number of online
   services. We think that X.500 is a major component (though not the
   only one) of a global Yellow Pages service. We would also like to
   encourage each of you to join your national pilot projects; the more
   coverage we can get, the easier you will be able to find the people
   you need to contact.

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RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

5.  For Further Information

   For further information, the authors recommend the following

      Weider, C., and J. Reynolds, "Executive Introduction to Directory
      Services Using the X.500 Protocol", FYI 13, RFC 1308, ANS, ISI,
      March 1992.

      Lang, R., and R. Wright, Editors, "A Catalog of Available X.500
      Implementations", FYI 11, RFC 1292, SRI International, Lawrence
      Berkeley Laboratory, January 1992.

      Barker, P., and S. Hardcastle-Kille, "The COSINE and Internet
      X.500 Schema", RFC 1274, University College London, November 1991.

      Hardcastle-Kille, S., "Replication Requirements to provide an
      Internet Directory using X.500", RFC 1275, University College
      London, November, 1991.

      Hardcastle-Kille, S., "Replication and Distributed Operations
      extensions to provide an Internet Directory using X.500", RFC
      1276, University College London, November 1991.

      Hardcastle-Kille, S., "Encoding Network Addresses to support
      operation over non-OSI lower layers", RFC 1277, University College
      London, November 1991.

      Hardcastle-Kille, S., " A string encoding of Presentation
      Address", RFC 1278, University College London, November 1991.

      Hardcastle-Kille, S., "X.500 and Domains", RFC 1279, University
      College London, November 1991.

6.  Security Considerations

      Security issues are discussed in section 3.

DISI Working Group                                             [Page 15]

RFC 1309              Technical Overview of X.500             March 1992

7.  Authors' Addresses

      Chris Weider
      Advanced Network and Services, Inc.
      2901 Hubbard G-1
      Ann Arbor, MI 48105-2437

      Phone (313) 663-2482

      Joyce K. Reynolds
      Information Sciences Institute
      University of Southern California
      4676 Admirality Way
      Marina del Rey, CA 90292

      Phone: (310) 822-1511

      Sergio Heker
      Princeton University
      6 von Neumann Hall
      Princeton, NJ 08544

      Phone: (609) 258-2400

DISI Working Group                                             [Page 16]