Object Identifiers (OIDs) and their Registration Authorities

image of Object Identifiers (OIDs) and their Registration Authorities

This Handbook provides information on the use of Object Identifiers (OIDs). It consists of several parts, which will be of interest to different audiences. Part 1 is a general introduction. Part 2 contains historical and background information of a largely tutorial nature. Part 3 provides a full description of the structure of the International OID tree, the high-level arcs and major branches, and the notations and encodings used for expressing OID values. Part 4 is concerned with the practical use of OIDs. It introduces the OID repository and the ITU-T module database. It describes some of the early and current uses of OIDs. Part 5 covers more recent developments, including the International Object Identifier tree, Unicode labels and long arcs. Part 6 discusses the OID Resolution System (ORS) using the Domain Name System (DNS). Part 7 contains instructions on how to obtain an OID for various purposes, and how to manage a sub-authority for allocation of a node to children, including information on actions needed to make use of the ORS. There are several Annexes (of which the most important are probably those concerned with the setting up and operation of a national registration authority) and a bibliography.




An object identifier or OID is an extensively used identification mechanism jointly developed by ITU-T and ISO/IEC for naming any type of object, concept, or "thing" with a globally unambiguous name which requires a persistent name (long life-time). The OID mechanism provides a very flexible and widely available identification scheme for any sort of object/thing. It was recognized in the early 1980s, when the foundational concepts behind OIDs were developed, that unambiguous identification of objects (now often called "things") was needed to support almost all forms of computer communication. All standardization work on OID-related activities has been joint work between ITU-T and ISO/IEC since about 1984.


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