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Chapter 15 - Introduction to Attributes

Note: When the attributes of a StreetTalk resource are managed, the resource is referred to as an object. For example, John Blake@Admin@WCTAR is a StreetTalk object.

Data Types

StreetTalk Classes and Attributes

Table 15-1. StreetTalk Classes

Class Refers To... Example of Attribute
Users User names Phone number, fax number, office location, office hours, mail stop
Services All services such as print, file, asynchronous, 3270 SNA, and Netbios Location, configuration parameters, AFP, service administrator
Lists Lists of users, services, nicknames, and other lists Home server, item modify time
Groups StreetTalk groups that contain of the above Location, group administrator any or all

Note: Attributes cannot be assigned to nicknames independently of attributes for the complete StreetTalk usernames. Banyan management tools let you configure attributes for a nickname but those attributes are also configured for the full name of the StreetTalk user.

Attribute Identifiers


VINES or StreetTalk for Windows NT
Third-party Developers of VINES applications

Developers of third-party applications in Attribute View Definition (AVD) files they provide with their products
Network administrators in the Standard Attribute View Definition file provided by Banyan

Table 15-2. Vendor Number Assignments

Vendor Number Description
0 Reserved for attributes that Banyan defines.

Reserved for Banyan internal use. Vendor-attribute identifiers that begin with 1 are used to insure backwards compatibility with attribute information entered in earlier revisions of your network software.

Banyan reserves the right to assign everything above 1:999. Do not use this vendor number in a collection parameter.

2 An unregulated number third-party developers use to test new software before an official vendor number is assigned. Do not use this vendor number in a collection parameter.
3 Recommended for customer-specific attributes. Administrators who want to define attributes in addition to those defined by Banyan should put them in the 3:* range.




Assigned by Banyan to developers and customers. Customers are issued one number. Software vendors should have one number to for each separate product they adapt to their network software. Services can also request vendor numbers from this range. Administrators are discouraged from using numbers in this range.

Attribute Labels

Table 15-3. Example of Labels

<v:a> Pair Label
<0:1> Description
<0:5> StreetTalk Group
<0:13> Home Server
<0:17> Formatted Name
<0:111> Telephone Number

Attribute Collections

Mail Stop
P.O. Box
Postal Code
Street Address


Figure 15-1. Attribute Filters

Attribute Values

Example The Value of an Address

Attribute <1:106> is assigned the string value "115 Elm" for Jane Smith@ Chicago Sales@WCTUS.
The attribute identifier <1:106> is in the AVD files that are located on every drive Z that users can access.
STDA services are configured to collect and display this attribute.

Table 15-4. Labels and Values

Attribute Identifier Default Label Assigned Value
<0:109> Country USA
<0:110> Postal Code 60611
<0:108> State or Province Name Illinois
<0:106> Street Address 115 Elm
<0:107> Town/City Chicago

Data Types

Table 15-5. Attribute Data Types

Data Type Description
Boolean Used to indicate true or false. An attribute implies true; lack of an attribute implies false. For example, a collection of attributes called Computer Skills might contain attributes used to establish network users' skills with PC and business software programs. Network users could use Boolean values to search on the DOS attribute or some other pre-determined attribute to find users whose skills match their requirements.
Binary Commonly assigned by applications developers for programming purposes. Bitmapped images are binary data types.
String The default data type for attributes. This type is commonly used to enter values for attributes such as "Building" , "Location," "Telephone Number," and so on.
Integer Commonly used by programmers to store and check values. Attribute values can be expressed as positive or negative numbers between -2147483647 and 2147483648 (-231 + 1 to 231). Multiple integer values can be entered to a limit of 4096 characters in the editing screen. Multiple integer values of any size can be imported as files.
ASN.1 Commonly used by applications which format data using X.500 binary encoding rules. ASN.1 follows closely the formatting rules for binary data types.

Figure 15-2. Relationship Between Filters, Classes, Attributes, Collections, and Values

Planning for Attributes

1. Analyze your organization.

2. Specify attribute labels.

3. Assign values.

4. Collect and display attributes.

Analyzing Your Organization

What information do most users need to find all the time?
Do individuals or groups in your organization need to collect unique information for access or tracking purposes by other users? For example, a human resources group can track emergency medical data about who in the company has CPR training.
As an administrator, do you need to track software, hardware, or other network-specific information?
Does your network span national boundaries and language groups?

Specifying Attribute Labels

Assigning Attribute Values

Establish the value and data types of attributes.
Replace attribute values with the contents of files.
Write attribute values into files.

Displaying Attribute Information

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