AUTODISCOVERY Technical Committee

Revised September 2016


There are currently various systems in place for discovery and configuration of individual protocols, but the process can often require a series of requests using different protocols to discover all of the details needed to set up the various client services which an individual might use to interact with an organisation or provision a new device.

Consider a new employee at "Widget Enterprises". The employee needs to configure his e-mail program to use IMAP + TLS on port 143 against, he needs to send mail on port 8557 via TLS+SMTP to, his calendar is on port 8443 at, and so forth. Some of these things can be discovered relatively easily, but the combination of DNS queries (including SRV lookups, certificate checking, and http requests) is complex; furthermore, some things cannot be discovered readily at all. Similarly, an individual acquiring a new smartphone and wishing to configure services such as e-mail, calendar and perhaps address book faces this experience with far less knowledge and ability to cope with the complexity.


TC AUTODISCOVERY will define and produce a standard protocol which will allow discovery of a variety of services in as few HTTP requests as possible, allowing developers to simplify the user interface in client software, and in particular in multi-function client software such as a combined e-mail and calendar client, or a multi-function device such as a smartphone.

This protocol is intended to allow discovery of services based on internet standard protocols, and should be based on existing technology and protocols to the extent possible, to ease the adoption of the new autodiscovery mechanism by developers.

In order to provide a standard which can be agreed in a timely manner, and which is flexible enough to cover a wide variety of current and future protocols, it is expected that this standard will provide the framework and a registry of services, each of which will define their own set of parameters and which will be extended over time.

Begin and End Dates

Begin: June 2012
End: TBD


Milestones and Work Products

June 2012 Participate in IETF APP list discussion and achieve consensus on protocol base
August 2012 Complete initial protocol specification
August 2012 Initial submission of Autodiscovery Internet Draft to IETF
October 2012 Review protocol specification at CalConnect XXV in Zurich
January 2013 Interoperability testing of first implementations at CalConnect XXVI
June 2013 On hold pending discussion on IETF mailing lists


Method of Working

The Technical Committee will work via the mailing list, wiki and etherpad pages as much as possible due to the location of participants, but will retain a schedule conference call slot to be used as needed. The timing will be decided on the TC list as soon as possible after instantiation.

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Marten Gajda, dmfs

Please contact the Chair for more information or to join this Technical Committee. Participation in this Technical Committee will be in accordance with standard CalConnect practices and procedures.