RDAP for Automated Queries

SWITCH operates a RDAP server for Whois data queries. It supports the class "Domain" (Domain Object Class). The answer is provided in JSON format. The rdap.nic.ch server is only reachable via https.

Personal data (such as domain name holders) is not displayed for anonymous users. Access with extended rights is not currently possible.

The RDAP server can be accessed via any HTTP client. Example:

<TLS connect to rdap.nic.ch port 443>
GET /domain/dnsrpz.ch HTTP/1.1
Host: rdap.nic.ch
Accept: application/rdap+json

Examples of HTTP clients: web browsers, cURL, wget, HTTPie, PowerShell.

In addition to GET, HEAD requests are also possible. These are used to check whether a domain name is already registered, without providing further data.

What does RDAP mean?

RDAP stands for Registration Data Access Protocol. It replaces the Whois protocol, which no longer satisfies current technical requirements.

What are the advantages of RDAP?

  • Standardised, machine-readable answers in JSON format.
  • HTTP-based and REST-compliant.
  • Secure access to data via HTTPS.
  • The registry is able to define different access rights for different user groups.

RFCs for the RDAP protocol

There are multiple RFCs for the RDAP protocol. RFC 7480 and 7483 are particularly important for the implementation of .ch and .li domain name queries.

  • RFC 7480 HTTP Usage in the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
  • RFC 7483 JSON Responses for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
  • RFC 7481 Security Services for the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)
  • RFC 7482 Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) Query Format