7. Method-Specific Behavior
7.1. Constructing Requests
To form a new request, the sender creates a transaction identifier
and uses this and the method name to create an MSRP request start
line. The transaction identifier MUST NOT collide with that of other
transactions that exist at the same time. Therefore, it MUST contain
at least 64 bits of randomness.
Next, the sender places the target path in a To-Path header field,
and the sender's URI in a From-Path header field. If multiple URIs
are present in the To-Path, the leftmost is the first URI visited;
the rightmost URI is the last URI visited. The processing then
becomes method specific. Additional method-specific header fields
are added as described in the following sections.
After any method-specific header fields are added, processing
continues to handle a body, if present. If the request has a body,
it MUST contain a Content-Type header field. It may contain other
MIME-specific header fields. The Content-Type header field MUST be
the last field in the message header section. The body MUST be
separated from the header fields with an extra CRLF.
Non-SEND requests are not intended to carry message content, and are
therefore not interruptible. Non-SEND request bodies MUST NOT be
larger than 10240 octets.
Although this document does not discuss any particular usage of
bodies in non-SEND requests, they may be useful in the future for
carrying security or identity information, information about a
message in progress, etc. The 10K size limit was chosen to be
large enough for most of such applications, but small enough to
avoid the fairness issues caused by sending arbitrarily large
content in non-interruptible method bodies.
A request with no body MUST NOT include a Content-Type or any other
MIME-specific header fields. A request without a body MUST contain
an end-line after the final header field. No extra CRLF will be
present between the header section and the end-line.
Requests with no bodies are useful when a client wishes to send
"traffic", but does not wish to send content to be rendered to the
peer user. For example, the active endpoint sends a SEND request
immediately upon establishing a connection. If it has nothing to
say at the moment, it can send a request with no body. Bodiless
requests may also be used in certain applications to keep Network
Address Translation (NAT) bindings alive, etc.
Bodiless requests are distinct from requests with empty bodies. A
request with an empty body will have a Content-Type header field
value and will generally be rendered to the recipient according to
the rules for that type.
The end-line that terminates the request MUST be composed of seven
"-" (minus sign) characters, the transaction ID as used in the start
line, and a flag character. If a body is present, the end-line MUST
be preceded by a CRLF that is not part of the body. If the chunk
represents the data that forms the end of the complete message, the
flag value MUST be a "$". If the sender is aborting an incomplete
message, and intends to send no further chunks in that message, the
flag MUST be a "#". Otherwise, the flag MUST be a "+".
If the request contains a body, the sender MUST ensure that the end-
line (seven hyphens, the transaction identifier, and a continuation
flag) is not present in the body. If the end-line is present in the
body, the sender MUST choose a new transaction identifier that is not
present in the body, and add a CRLF if needed, and the end-line,
including the "$", "#", or "+" character.
Some implementations may choose to scan for the closing sequence as
they send the body, and if it is encountered, simply interrupt the
chunk at that point and start a new transaction with a different
transaction identifier to carry the rest of the body. Other
implementations may choose to scan the data and ensure that the body
does not contain the transaction identifier before they start sending
Once a request is ready for delivery, the sender follows the
connection management (Section 5.4) rules to forward the request over
an existing open connection or create a new connection.
7.1.1. Sending SEND Requests
When an endpoint has a message to deliver, it first generates a new
Message-ID. The value MUST be highly unlikely to be repeated by
another endpoint instance, or by the same instance in the future. If
necessary, the endpoint breaks the message into chunks. It then
generates a SEND request for each chunk, following the procedures for
constructing requests (Section 7.1).
The Message-ID header field provides a unique message identifier
that refers to a particular version of a particular message. The
term "Message" in this context refers to a unit of content that
the sender wishes to convey to the recipient. While such a
message may be broken into chunks, the Message-ID refers to the
entire message, not a chunk of the message.
The uniqueness of the message identifier is ensured by the host
that generates it. This message identifier is intended to be
machine readable and not necessarily meaningful to humans. A
message identifier pertains to exactly one version of a particular
message; subsequent revisions to the message each receive new
message identifiers. Endpoints can ensure sufficient uniqueness
in any number of ways, the selection of which is an implementation
choice. For example, an endpoint could concatenate an instance
identifier such as a MAC address, its idea of the number of
seconds since the epoch, a process ID, and a monotonically
increasing 16-bit integer, all base-64 encoded. Alternately, an
endpoint without an on-board clock could simply use a 64-bit
Each chunk of a message MUST contain a Message-ID header field
containing the Message-ID. If the sender wishes non-default status
reporting, it MUST insert a Failure-Report and/or Success-Report
header field with an appropriate value. All chunks of the same
message MUST use the same Failure-Report and Success-Report values in
their SEND requests.
If success reports are requested, i.e., the value of the Success-
Report header field is "yes", the sending device MAY wish to run a
timer of some value that makes sense for its application and take
action if a success report is not received in this time. There is no
universal value for this timer. For many IM applications, it may be
2 minutes while for some trading systems it may be under a second.
Regardless of whether such a timer is used, if the success report has
not been received by the time the session is ended, the device SHOULD
inform the user.
If the value of "Failure-Report" is set to "yes", then the sender of
the request runs a timer. If a 200 response to the transaction is
not received within 30 seconds from the time the last byte of the
transaction is sent, or submitted to the operating system for
sending, the element MUST inform the user that the request probably
failed. If the value is set to "partial", then the element sending
the transaction does not have to run a timer, but MUST inform the
user if it receives a non-recoverable error response to the
transaction. Regardless of the Failure-Report value, there is no
requirement to wait for a response prior to sending the next request.
The treatment of timers for success reports and failure reports is
intentionally inconsistent. An explicit timeout value makes sense
for failure reports since such reports will usually refer to a
message "chunk" that is acknowledged on a hop-by-hop basis. This
is not the case for success reports, which are end-to-end and may
refer to the entire message content, which can be arbitrarily
If no Success-Report header field is present in a SEND request, it
MUST be treated the same as a Success-Report header field with a
value of "no". If no Failure-Report header field is present, it MUST
be treated the same as a Failure-Report header field with a value of
"yes". If an MSRP endpoint receives a REPORT for a Message-ID it
does not recognize, it SHOULD silently ignore the REPORT.
The Byte-Range header field value contains a starting value (range-
start) followed by a "-", an ending value (range-end) followed by a
"/", and finally the total length. The first octet in the message
has a position of one, rather than a zero.
The first chunk of the message SHOULD, and all subsequent chunks
MUST, include a Byte-Range header field. The range-start field MUST
indicate the position of the first byte in the body in the overall
message (for the first chunk this field will have a value of one).
The range-end field SHOULD indicate the position of the last byte in
the body, if known. It MUST take the value of "*" if the position is
unknown, or if the request needs to be interruptible. The total
field SHOULD contain the total size of the message, if known. The
total field MAY contain a "*" if the total size of the message is not
known in advance. The sender MUST send all chunks in Byte-Range
order. (However, the receiver cannot assume that the requests will
be delivered in order, as intervening relays may have changed the
There are some circumstances where an endpoint may choose to send an
empty SEND request. For the sake of consistency, a Byte-Range header
field referring to nonexistent or zero-length content MUST still have
a range-start value of 1. For example, "1-0/0".
To ensure fairness over a connection, senders MUST NOT send chunks
with a body larger than 2048 octets unless they are prepared to
interrupt them (meaning that any chunk with a body of greater than
2048 octets will have a "*" character in the range-end field). A
sender can use one of the following two strategies to satisfy this
requirement. The sender is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to send messages
larger than 2048 octets using as few chunks as possible, interrupting
chunks (at least 2048 octets long) only when other traffic is waiting
to use the same connection. Alternatively, the sender MAY simply
send chunks in 2048-octet increments until the final chunk. Note
that the former strategy results in markedly more efficient use of
the connection. All MSRP nodes MUST be able to receive chunks of any
size from zero octets to the maximum number of octets they can
receive for a complete message. Senders SHOULD NOT break messages
into chunks smaller than 2048 octets, except for the final chunk of a
A SEND request is interrupted while a body is in the process of being
written to the connection by simply noting how much of the message
has already been written to the connection, then writing out the end-
line to end the chunk. It can then be resumed in a another chunk
with the same Message-ID and a Byte-Range header field range start
field containing the position of the first byte after the
SEND requests larger than 2048 octets MUST be interrupted if the
sender needs to send pending responses or REPORT requests. If
multiple SEND requests from different sessions are concurrently being
sent over the same connection, the device SHOULD implement some
scheme to alternate between them such that each concurrent request
gets a chance to send some fair portion of data at regular intervals
suitable to the application.
The sender MUST NOT assume that a message is received by the peer
with the same chunk allocation with which it was sent. An
intervening relay could possibly break SEND requests into smaller
chunks, or aggregate multiple chunks into larger ones.
The default disposition of messages is to be rendered to the user.
If the sender wants a different disposition, it MAY insert a Content-
Disposition  header field. Values MAY include any from RFC 2183
 or the IANA registry it defines. Since MSRP can carry unencoded
binary payloads, transfer encoding is always "binary", and transfer-
encoding parameters MUST NOT be present.
7.1.2. Sending REPORT Requests
REPORT requests are similar to SEND requests, except that report
requests MUST NOT include Success-Report or Failure-Report header
fields, and MUST contain a Status header field. REPORT requests MUST
contain the Message-ID header field from the original SEND request.
If an MSRP element receives a REPORT for a Message-ID it does not
recognize, it SHOULD silently ignore the REPORT.
An MSRP endpoint MUST be able to generate success REPORT requests.
REPORT requests will normally not include a body, as the REPORT
request header fields can carry sufficient information in most cases.
However, REPORT requests MAY include a body containing additional
information about the status of the associated SEND request. Such a
body is informational only, and the sender of the REPORT request
SHOULD NOT assume that the recipient pays any attention to the body.
REPORT requests are not interruptible.
Success-Report and Failure-Report header fields MUST NOT be present
in REPORT requests. MSRP nodes MUST NOT send REPORT requests in
response to REPORT requests. MSRP nodes MUST NOT send MSRP responses
to REPORT requests.
Endpoints SHOULD NOT send REPORT requests if they have reason to
believe the request will not be delivered. For example, they SHOULD
NOT send a REPORT request for a session that is no longer valid.
7.1.3. Generating Success Reports
When an endpoint receives a message in one or more chunks that
contain a Success-Report value of "yes", it MUST send a success
report or reports covering all bytes that are received successfully.
The success reports are sent in the form of REPORT requests,
following the normal procedures (Section 7.1), with a few additional
The receiver MAY wait until it receives the last chunk of a message,
and send a success report that covers the complete message.
Alternately, it MAY generate incremental success REPORTs as the
chunks are received. These can be sent periodically and cover all
the bytes that have been received so far, or they can be sent after a
chunk arrives and cover just the part from that chunk.
It is helpful to think of a success REPORT as reporting on a
particular range of bytes, rather than on a particular chunk sent
by a client. The sending client cannot depend on the Byte-Range
header field in a given success report matching that of a
particular SEND request. For example, an intervening MSRP relay
may break chunks into smaller chunks, or aggregate multiple chunks
into larger ones. A side effect of this is, even if no relay is
used, the receiving client may report on byte ranges that do not
exactly match those in the original chunks sent by the sender. It
can wait until all bytes in a message are received and report on
the whole, it can report as it receives each chunk, or it can
report on any other received range. Reporting on ranges smaller
than the entire message contents allows certain improved user
experiences for the sender. For example, a sending client could
display incremental status information showing which ranges of
bytes have been acknowledged by the receiver. However, the choice
on whether to report incrementally is entirely up to the receiving
client. There is no mechanism for the sender to assert its desire
to receive incremental reports or not. Since the presence of a
relay can cause the receiver to see a very different chunk
allocation than the sender, such a mechanism would be of
When generating a REPORT request, the endpoint inserts a To-Path
header field containing the From-Path value from the original
request, and a From-Path header field containing the URI identifying
itself in the session. The endpoint then inserts a Status header
field with a namespace of "000", a status-code of "200", and an
implementation-defined comment phrase. It also inserts a Message-ID
header field containing the value from the original request.
The namespace field denotes the context of the status-code field.
The namespace value of "000" means the status-code should be
interpreted in the same way as the matching MSRP transaction
response code. If a future specification uses the status-code
field for some other purpose, it MUST define a new namespace field
The endpoint MUST NOT send a success report for a SEND request that
either contained no Success-Report header field or contained such a
field with a value of "no". That is, if no Success-Report header
field is present, it is treated identically to one with a value of
7.1.4. Generating Failure Reports
If an MSRP endpoint receives a SEND request that it cannot process
for some reason, and the Failure-Report header field either was not
present in the original request or had a value of "yes", it SHOULD
simply include the appropriate error code in the transaction
response. However, there may be situations where the error cannot be
determined quickly, such as when the endpoint is a gateway that waits
for a downstream network to indicate an error. In this situation, it
MAY send a 200 OK response to the request, and then send a failure
REPORT request when the error is detected.
If the endpoint receives a SEND request with a Failure-Report header
field value of "no", then it MUST NOT send a failure REPORT request,
and MUST NOT send a transaction response. If the value is "partial",
it MUST NOT send a 200 transaction response to the request, but
SHOULD send an appropriate non-200 class response if a failure
As stated above, if no Failure-Report header field is present, it
MUST be treated the same as a Failure-Report header field with a
value of "yes".
Construction of failure REPORT requests is identical to that for
success REPORT requests, except the Status header field code field
MUST contain the appropriate error code. Any error response code
defined in this specification MAY also be used in failure reports.
If a failure REPORT request is sent in response to a SEND request
that contained a chunk, it MUST include a Byte-Range header field
indicating the actual range being reported on. It can take the
range-start and total values from the original SEND request, but MUST
calculate the range-end field from the actual body data.
This section only describes failure report generation behavior for
MSRP endpoints. Relay behavior is beyond the scope of this
document, and will be considered in a separate document . We
expect failure reports to be more commonly generated by relays
than by endpoints.
7.2. Constructing Responses
If an MSRP endpoint receives a request that either contains a
Failure-Report header field value of "yes" or does not contain a
Failure-Report header field at all, it MUST immediately generate a
response. Likewise, if an MSRP endpoint receives a request that
contains a Failure-Report header field value of "partial", and the
receiver is unable to process the request, it SHOULD immediately
generate a response.
To construct the response, the endpoint first creates the response
start line, inserting the appropriate response code and optionally a
comment. The transaction identifier in the response start line MUST
match the transaction identifier from the original request.
The endpoint then inserts an appropriate To-Path header field. If
the request triggering the response was a SEND request, the To-Path
header field is formed by copying the first (leftmost) URI in the
From-Path header field of the request. (Responses to SEND requests
are returned only to the previous hop.) For responses to all other
request methods, the To-Path header field contains the full path back
to the original sender. This full path is generated by copying the
list of URIs from the From-Path of the original request into the To-
Path of the response. (Legal REPORT requests do not request
responses, so this specification doesn't exercise the behavior
described above; however, we expect that extensions for gateways and
relays will need such behavior.)
Finally, the endpoint inserts a From-Path header field containing the
URI that identifies it in the context of the session, followed by the
end-line after the last header field. Since a response is never
chunked, the continuation flag in the end-line will always contain a
dollar sign ("$"). The response MUST be transmitted back on the same
connection on which the original request arrived.
7.3. Receiving Requests
The receiving endpoint MUST first check the URI in the To-Path to
make sure the request belongs to an existing session. When the
request is received, the To-Path will have exactly one URI, which
MUST map to an existing session that is associated with the
connection on which the request arrived. If this is not true, then
the receiver MUST generate a 481 error and ignore the request. Note
that if the Failure-Report header field had a value of "no", then no
error report would be sent.
Further request processing by the receiver is method specific.
7.3.1. Receiving SEND Requests
When the receiving endpoint receives a SEND request, it first
determines if it contains a complete message or a chunk from a larger
message. If the request contains no Byte-Range header field, or
contains one with a range-start value of "1", and the closing line
continuation flag has a value of "$", then the request contained the
entire message. Otherwise, the receiver looks at the Message-ID
value to associate chunks together into the original message. The
receiver forms a virtual buffer to receive the message, keeping track
of which bytes have been received and which are missing. The
receiver takes the data from the request and places it in the
appropriate place in the buffer. The receiver SHOULD determine the
actual length of each chunk by inspecting the payload itself; it is
possible the body is shorter than the range-end field indicates.
This can occur if the sender interrupted a SEND request unexpectedly.
It is worth noting that the chunk that has a termination character of
"$" defines the total length of the message.
It is technically illegal for the sender to prematurely interrupt
a request that had anything other than "*" in the last-byte
position of the Byte-Range header field. But having the receiver
calculate a chunk length based on actual content adds resilience
in the face of sender errors. Since this should never happen with
compliant senders, this only has a "SHOULD" strength.
Receivers MUST not assume that the chunks will be delivered in order
or that they will receive all the chunks with "+" flags before they
receive the chunk with the "$" flag. In certain cases of connection
failure, it is possible for information to be duplicated. If chunk
data is received that overlaps already received data for the same
message, the last chunk received SHOULD take precedence (even though
this may not have been the last chunk transmitted). For example, if
bytes 1 to 100 were received and a chunk arrives that contains bytes
50 to 150, this second chunk will overwrite bytes 50 to 100 of the
data that had already been received. Although other schemes work,
this is the easiest for the receiver and results in consistent
behavior between clients.
There are situations in which the receiver may not be able to give
precedence to the last chunk received when chunks overlap. For
example, the recipient might incrementally render chunks as they
arrive. If a new chunk arrives that overlaps with a previously
rendered chunk, it would be too late to "take back" any
conflicting data from the first chunk. Therefore, the requirement
to give precedence to the most recent chunk is specified at a
"SHOULD" strength. This requirement is not intended to disallow
applications where this behavior does not make sense.
The seven "-" in the end-line are used so that the receiver can
search for the value "----", 32 bits at a time to find the probable
location of the end-line. This allows most processors to locate the
boundaries and copy the memory at the same rate that a normal memory
copy could be done. This approach results in a system that is as
fast as framing based on specifying the body length in the header
fields of the request, but also allows for the interruption of
What is done with the body is outside the scope of MSRP and largely
determined by the MIME Content-Type and Content-Disposition. The
body MAY be rendered after the whole message is received or partially
rendered as it is being received.
If the SEND request contained a Content-Type header field indicating
an unsupported media-type, and the Failure-Report value is not "no",
the receiver MUST generate a response with a status code of 415. All
MSRP endpoints MUST be able to receive the multipart/mixed  and
multipart/alternative  media-types.
If the Success-Report header field was set to "yes", the receiver
must construct and send one or more success reports, as described in
7.3.2. Receiving REPORT Requests
When an endpoint receives a REPORT request, it correlates the report
to the original SEND request using the Message-ID and the Byte-Range,
if present. If it requested success reports, then it SHOULD keep
enough state about each outstanding sent message so that it can
correlate REPORT requests to the original messages.
An endpoint that receives a REPORT request containing a Status header
field with a namespace field of "000" MUST interpret the report in
exactly the same way it would interpret an MSRP transaction response
with a response code matching the status-code field.
It is possible to receive a failure report or a failure transaction
response for a chunk that is currently being delivered. In this
case, the entire message corresponding to that chunk SHOULD be
aborted, by including the "#" character in the continuation field of
It is possible that an endpoint will receive a REPORT request on a
session that is no longer valid. The endpoint's behavior if this
happens is a matter of local policy. The endpoint is not required to
take any steps to facilitate such late delivery; i.e., it is not
expected to keep a connection active in case late REPORTs might
When an endpoint that sent a SEND request receives a failure REPORT
indicating that a particular byte range was not received, it MUST
treat the session as failed. If it wishes to recover, it MUST first
re-negotiate the URIs at the signaling level then resend that range
of bytes of the message on the resulting new session.
MSRP nodes MUST NOT send MSRP REPORT requests in response to other
8. Using MSRP with SIP and SDP
MSRP sessions will typically be initiated using the Session
Description Protocol (SDP)  via the SIP offer/answer mechanism
This document defines a handful of new SDP parameters to set up MSRP
sessions. These are detailed below and in the IANA Considerations
An MSRP media-line (that is, a media-line proposing MSRP) in the
session description is accompanied by a mandatory "path" attribute.
This attribute contains a space-separated list of URIs to be visited
to contact the user agent advertising this session description. If
more than one URI is present, the leftmost URI is the first URI to be
visited to reach the target resource. (The path list can contain
multiple URIs to allow for the deployment of gateways or relays in
the future.) MSRP implementations that can accept incoming
connections without the need for relays will typically only provide a
single URI here.
An MSRP media line is also accompanied by an "accept-types"
attribute, and optionally an "accept-wrapped-types" attribute. These
attributes are used to specify the media-types that are acceptable to
8.1. SDP Connection and Media-Lines
An SDP connection-line takes the following format:
c=<network type> <address type> <connection address>
Figure 4: Standard SDP Connection Line
The network type and address type fields are used as normal for SDP.
The connection address field MUST be set to the IP address or fully
qualified domain name from the MSRP URI identifying the endpoint in
its path attribute.
The general format of an SDP media-line is:
m=<media> <port> <protocol> <format list>
Figure 5: Standard SDP Media Line
An offered or accepted media-line for MSRP over TCP MUST include a
protocol field value of "TCP/MSRP", or "TCP/TLS/MSRP" for TLS. The
media field value MUST be "message". The format list field MUST be
set to "*".
The port field value MUST match the port value used in the endpoint's
MSRP URI in the path attribute, except that, as described in , a
user agent that wishes to accept an offer, but not a specific media-
line, MUST set the port number of that media-line to zero (0) in the
response. Since MSRP allows multiple sessions to share the same TCP
connection, multiple m-lines in a single SDP document may share the
same port field value; MSRP devices MUST NOT assume any particular
relationship between m-lines on the sole basis that they have
matching port field values.
MSRP devices do not use the c-line address field, or the m-line
port and format list fields to determine where to connect.
Rather, they use the attributes defined in this specification.
The connection information is copied to the c-line and m-line for
purposes of backwards compatibility with conventional SDP usages.
While MSRP could theoretically carry any media-type, "message" is
8.2. URI Negotiations
Each endpoint in an MSRP session is identified by a URI. These URIs
are negotiated in the SDP exchange. Each SDP offer or answer that
proposes MSRP MUST contain a "path" attribute containing one or more
MSRP URIs. The path attribute is used in an SDP a-line, and has the
path = path-label ":" path-list
path-label = "path"
path-list= MSRP-URI *(SP MSRP-URI)
Figure 6: Path Attribute
where MSRP-URI is an "msrp" or "msrps" URI as defined in Section 6.
MSRP URIs included in an SDP offer or answer MUST include explicit
An MSRP device uses the URI to determine a host address, port,
transport, and protection level when connecting, and to identify the
target when sending requests and responses.
The offerer and answerer each selects a URI to represent itself and
sends that URI to its peer in the SDP document. Each peer stores the
path value received from the other peer and uses that value as the
target for requests inside the resulting session. If the path
attribute received from the peer contains more than one URI, then the
target URI is the rightmost, while the leftmost entry represents the
adjacent hop. If only one entry is present, then it is both the peer
and adjacent hop URI. The target path is the entire path attribute
value received from the peer.
The following example shows an SDP offer with a session URI of
o=alice 2890844526 2890844527 IN IP4 alice.example.com
c=IN IP4 alice.example.com
m=message 7394 TCP/MSRP *
Figure 7: Example SDP with Path Attribute
The rightmost URI in the path attribute MUST identify the endpoint
that generated the SDP document, or some other location where that
endpoint wishes to receive requests associated with the session. It
MUST be assigned for this particular session, and MUST NOT duplicate
any URI in use for any other session in which the endpoint is
currently participating. It SHOULD be hard to guess, and protected
from eavesdroppers. This is discussed in more detail in Section 14.
8.3. Path Attributes with Multiple URIs
As mentioned previously, this document describes MSRP for peer-to-
peer scenarios, that is, when no relays are used. The use of relays
is described in a separate document . In order to allow an MSRP
device that only implements the core specification to interoperate
with devices that use relays, this document must include a few
assumptions about how relays work.
An endpoint that uses one or more relays will indicate that by
putting a URI for each device in the relay chain into the SDP path
attribute. The final entry will point to the endpoint itself. The
other entries will indicate each proposed relay, in order. The first
entry will point to the first relay in the chain from the perspective
of the peer, that is, the relay to which the peer device, or a relay
operating on its behalf, should connect.
Endpoints that do not wish to insert a relay, including those that do
not support relays at all, will put exactly one URI into the path
attribute. This URI represents both the endpoint for the session and
the connection point.
Even though endpoints that implement only this specification will
never introduce a relay, they need to be able to interoperate with
other endpoints that do use relays. Therefore, they MUST be prepared
to receive more than one URI in the SDP path attribute. When an
endpoint receives more than one URI in a path attribute, only the
first entry is relevant for purposes of resolving the address and
port, and establishing the network connection, as it describes the
first adjacent hop.
If an endpoint puts more than one URI in a path attribute, the final
URI in the path attribute (the peer URI) identifies the session, and
MUST not duplicate the URI of any other session in which the endpoint
is currently participating. Uniqueness requirements for other
entries in the path attribute are out of scope for this document.
8.4. Updated SDP Offers
MSRP endpoints may sometimes need to send additional SDP exchanges
for an existing session. They may need to send periodic exchanges
with no change to refresh state in the network, for example, SIP
session timers or the SIP UPDATE  request. They may need to
change some other stream in a session without affecting the MSRP
stream, or they may need to change an MSRP stream without affecting
some other stream.
Either peer may initiate an updated exchange at any time. The
endpoint that sends the new offer assumes the role of offerer for all
purposes. The answerer MUST respond with a path attribute that
represents a valid path to itself at the time of the updated
exchange. This new path may be the same as its previous path, but
may be different. The new offerer MUST NOT assume that the peer will
answer with the same path it used previously.
If either party wishes to send an SDP document that changes nothing
at all, then it MUST use the same o-line as in the previous exchange.
8.5. Connection Negotiation
Previous versions of this document included a mechanism to negotiate
the direction for any required TCP connection. The mechanism was
loosely based on the Connection-Oriented Media (COMEDIA)  work
done by the MMUSIC working group. The primary motivation was to
allow MSRP sessions to succeed in situations where the offerer could
not accept connections but the answerer could. For example, the
offerer might be behind a NAT, while the answerer might have a
globally routable address.
The SIMPLE working group chose to remove that mechanism from MSRP, as
it added a great deal of complexity to connection management.
Instead, MSRP now specifies a default connection direction. The
party that sent the original offer is responsible for connecting to
8.6. Content Type Negotiation
An SDP media-line proposing MSRP MUST be accompanied by an accept-
An entry of "*" in the accept-types attribute indicates that the
sender may attempt to send content with media-types that have not
been explicitly listed. Likewise, an entry with an explicit type and
a "*" character as the subtype indicates that the sender may attempt
to send content with any subtype of that type. If the receiver
receives an MSRP request and is able to process the media-type, it
does so. If not, it will respond with a 415 response. Note that all
explicit entries SHOULD be considered preferred over any non-listed
types. This feature is needed as, otherwise, the list of formats for
rich IM devices may be prohibitively large.
This specification requires the support of certain data formats.
Mandatory formats MUST be signaled like any other, either explicitly
or by the use of a "*".
The accept-types attribute may include container types, that is, MIME
formats that contain other types internally. If compound types are
used, the types listed in the accept-types attribute may be used as
the root payload or may be wrapped in a listed container type. Any
container types MUST also be listed in the accept-types attribute.
Occasionally, an endpoint will need to specify a MIME media-type that
can only be used if wrapped inside a listed container type.
Endpoints MAY specify media-types that are only allowed when wrapped
inside compound types using the "accept-wrapped-types" attribute in
an SDP a-line.
The semantics for accept-wrapped-types are identical to those of the
accept-types attribute, with the exception that the specified types
may only be used when wrapped inside container types listed in the
accept-types attribute. Only types listed in the accept-types
attribute may be used as the "root" type for the entire body. Since
any type listed in accept-types may be both used as a root body and
wrapped in other bodies, format entries from accept-types SHOULD NOT
be repeated in this attribute.
This approach does not allow for specifying distinct lists of
acceptable wrapped types for different types of containers. If an
endpoint understands a media-type in the context of one wrapper, it
is assumed to understand it in the context of any other acceptable
wrappers, subject to any constraints defined by the wrapper types
The approach of specifying types that are only allowed inside of
containers separately from the primary payload types allows an
endpoint to force the use of certain wrappers. For example, a
Common Presence and Instant Messaging (CPIM)  gateway device
may require all messages to be wrapped inside message/cpim bodies,
but may allow several content types inside the wrapper. If the
gateway were to specify the wrapped types in the accept-types
attribute, its peer might attempt to use those types without the
If the recipient of an offer does not understand any of the payload
types indicated in the offered SDP, it SHOULD indicate that using the
appropriate mechanism of the rendezvous protocol. For example, in
SIP, it SHOULD return a SIP 488 response.
An MSRP endpoint MUST NOT send content of a type not signaled by the
peer in either an accept-types or an accept-wrapped-types attribute.
Furthermore, it MUST NOT send a top-level (i.e., not wrapped) MIME
document of a type not signaled in the accept-types attribute. In
either case, the signaling could be explicit, or implicit through the
use of the "*" character.
An endpoint MAY indicate the maximum size message it wishes to
receive using the max-size a-line attribute. Max-size refers to the
complete message in octets, not the size of any one chunk. Senders
SHOULD NOT exceed the max-size limit for any message sent in the
resulting session. However, the receiver should consider max-size
value as a hint.
Media format entries may include parameters. The interpretation of
such parameters varies between media-types. For the purposes of
media-type negotiation, a format-entry with one or more parameters is
assumed to match the same format-entry with no parameters.
B responds with its own URI:
o=userb 2890844530 2890844532 IN IP4 bob.example.com
c=IN IP4 bob.example.com
m=message 8493 TCP/MSRP *
Figure 10: SDP from Endpoint B8.8. MSRP User Experience with SIP
In typical SIP applications, when an endpoint receives an INVITE
request, it alerts the user, and waits for user input before
responding. This is analogous to the typical telephone user
experience, where the callee "answers" the call.
In contrast, the typical user experience for instant messaging
applications is that the initial received message is immediately
displayed to the user, without waiting for the user to "join" the
conversation. Therefore, the principle of least surprise would
suggest that MSRP endpoints using SIP signaling SHOULD allow a mode
where the endpoint quietly accepts the session and begins displaying
This guideline may not make sense for all situations, such as for
mixed-media applications, where both MSRP and audio sessions are
offered in the same INVITE. In general, good application design
should take precedence.
SIP INVITE requests may be forked by a SIP proxy, resulting in more
than one endpoint receiving the same INVITE. SIP early media 
techniques can be used to establish a preliminary session with each
endpoint so the initial message(s) are displayed on each endpoint,
and canceling the INVITE transaction for any endpoints that do not
send MSRP traffic after some period of time, so that they cease
receiving MSRP traffic from the inviter.
8.9. SDP Direction Attribute and MSRP
SDP defines a number of attributes that modify the direction of media
flows. These are the "sendonly", "recvonly", "inactive", and
If a "sendonly" or "recvonly" attribute modifies an MSRP media
description line, the attribute indicates the direction of MSRP SEND
requests that contain regular message payloads. Unless otherwise
specified, these attributes do not affect the direction of other
types of requests, such as REPORT. SEND requests that contain some
kind of control or reporting protocol rather than regular message
payload (e.g., Instant Message Delivery Notification (IMDN) reports)
should be generated according to the protocol rules as if no
direction attribute were present.