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CNRP (Common Name Resolution Protocol)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

CNRP is an Internet protocol that relieves people from having to remember long and complicated Internet URLs (Universal Resource Locators). Instead, you type in "common names" to access resources. CNRP provides a "resolution service" that converts the common name into an Internet address. See RFC 2972 (Context and Goals for Common Name Resolution, October 2000).

Imagine your looking for a document on your company's Web server. You know it's the February meeting notes. In your Web browser's Address field, you type Feb meeting notes and the document appears. In the background, CNRP has taken your easy-to-remember document name and resolved it into an IP address (for example

Common names and the CNRP protocol may be used in the following applications:

  • Business directories    The common name is a company, and the resource referred to provides information about the company, its products, SEC filings, stock quotes, and so on.

  • White pages    The common name is a last name, phone number, or e-mail address that provides information about a person.

  • E-commerce directories    The common name is a brand name or description, and the resource referred to is a consumer item.

  • Publishing directories    The title of a publication refers to a book, song title, or artist's name.

  • Entertainment directories    Common names refer to movies, rock band, events, concerts, TV shows, and so on.

  • Yellow pages services    A house for sale, a restaurant, a car dealership, or other type of establishment or service that can be found in the traditional yellow pages is referred to with a street address, the name of a business, or a description.

  • News feeds    A headline refers to a press article.

Currently, RealNames uses the protocol at its Web site. Some of the authors of the CNRP protocol work for RealNames. Similar techniques have been implemented, including AOL's KeyWords, CompuServe's Go Words, NetScape Navigator's Smart Browsing, and others. CNRP is an attempt to standardize the concept.

Related topics include URN (Uniform Resource Names), which is a computer-to-computer naming scheme. A URN is a name with global scope that does not imply a location. It has the same meaning everywhere. It provides a persistent identifier for recognizing a resource and providing access to it via a URL (Uniform Resource Locator).

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.