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RFC 3909

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Cancel Operation

Pages: 7
Proposed Standard

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Network Working Group                                        K. Zeilenga
Request for Comments: 3909                           OpenLDAP Foundation
Category: Standards Track                                   October 2004

             Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
                            Cancel Operation

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).


This specification describes a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) extended operation to cancel (or abandon) an outstanding operation. Unlike the LDAP Abandon operation, but like the X.511 Directory Access Protocol (DAP) Abandon operation, this operation has a response which provides an indication of its outcome.

1. Background and Intent of Use

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) [RFC3377] provides an Abandon operation [RFC2251] which clients may use to cancel other operations. The Abandon operation does not have a response and requires no response from the abandoned operation. These semantics provide the client with no clear indication of the outcome of the Abandon operation. The X.511 Directory Access Protocol (DAP) [X.511] provides an Abandon operation which has a response and also requires the abandoned operation to return a response indicating it was canceled. The LDAP Cancel operation is modeled after the DAP Abandon operation. The LDAP Cancel operation SHOULD be used instead of the LDAP Abandon operation when the client needs an indication of the outcome. This operation may be used to cancel both interrogation and update operations.
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   Protocol elements are described using ASN.1 [X.680] with implicit
   tags.  The term "BER-encoded" means the element is to be encoded
   using the Basic Encoding Rules [X.690] under the restrictions
   detailed in Section 5.1 of [RFC2251].

   DSA stands for Directory System Agent (or server).
   DSE stands for DSA-specific Entry.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119].

2. Cancel Operation

The Cancel operation is defined as an LDAP Extended Operation [RFC2251, Section 4.12] identified by the object identifier This section details the syntax of the Cancel request and response messages and defines additional LDAP resultCodes.

2.1. Cancel Request

The Cancel request is an ExtendedRequest with the requestName field containing and a requestValue field which contains a BER-encoded cancelRequestValue value. cancelRequestValue ::= SEQUENCE { cancelID MessageID -- MessageID is as defined in [RFC2251] } The cancelID field contains the message ID associated with the operation to be canceled.

2.2. Cancel Response

A Cancel response is an ExtendedResponse where the responseName and response fields are absent.

2.3. Additional Result Codes

Implementations of this specification SHALL recognize the following additional resultCode values: canceled (118) noSuchOperation (119) tooLate (120) cannotCancel (121)
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3. Operational Semantics

The function of the Cancel Operation is to request that the server cancel an outstanding operation issued within the same session. The client requests the cancelation of an outstanding operation by issuing a Cancel Response with a cancelID set to the message ID of the outstanding operation. The Cancel Request itself has a distinct message ID. Clients SHOULD NOT request the cancelation of an operation multiple times. If the server is willing and able to cancel the outstanding operation identified by the cancelId, the server SHALL return a Cancel Response with a success resultCode, and the canceled operation SHALL fail with canceled resultCode. Otherwise the Cancel Response SHALL have a non-success resultCode and SHALL NOT have an impact upon the outstanding operation (if it exists). The protocolError resultCode is returned if the server is unable to parse the requestValue or the requestValue is absent, The noSuchOperation resultCode is returned if the server has no knowledge of the operation requested for cancelation. The cannotCancel resultCode is returned if the identified operation does not support cancelation or the cancel operation could not be performed. The following classes of operations are not cancelable: - operations which have no response, - operations which create, alter, or destroy authentication and/or authorization associations, - operations which establish, alter, or tear-down security services, and - operations which abandon or cancel other operations. Specifically, the Abandon, Bind, Start TLS [RFC2830], Unbind, and Cancel operations are not cancelable. The Cancel operation cannot be abandoned. The tooLate resultCode is returned to indicate that it is too late to cancel the outstanding operation. For example, the server may return tooLate for a request to cancel an outstanding modify operation which has already committed updates to the underlying data store.
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   Servers SHOULD indicate their support for this extended operation by
   providing as a value of the 'supportedExtension'
   attribute type in their root DSE.  A server MAY choose to advertise
   this extension only when the client is authorized to use it.

4. Security Considerations

This operation is intended to allow a user to cancel operations they previously issued during the current LDAP association. In certain cases, such as when the Proxy Authorization Control is in use, different outstanding operations may be processed under different LDAP associations. Servers MUST NOT allow a user to cancel an operation belonging to another user. Some operations should not be cancelable for security reasons. This specification disallows the cancelation of the Bind operation and Start TLS extended operation so as to avoid adding complexity to authentication, authorization, and security layer semantics. Designers of future extended operations and/or controls should disallow abandonment and cancelation when appropriate.

5. IANA Considerations

The following values [RFC3383] have been registered by the IANA.

5.1. Object Identifier

The IANA has registered upon Standards Action the LDAP Object Identifier to identify the LDAP Cancel Operation as defined in this document. Subject: Request for LDAP Object Identifier Registration Person & email address to contact for further information: Kurt Zeilenga <> Specification: RFC 3909 Author/Change Controller: IESG Comments: Identifies the LDAP Cancel Operation
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5.2. LDAP Protocol Mechanism

The IANA has registered upon Standards Action the LDAP Protocol Mechanism described in this document. Subject: LDAP Protocol Mechanism Registration Object Identifier: Description: LDAP Cancel Operation Person & email address to contact for further information: Kurt Zeilenga <> Usage: Extended Operation Specification: RFC 3909 Author/Change Controller: IESG Comments: none

5.3. LDAP Result Codes

The IANA has registered upon Standards Action the LDAP Result Codes described in this document. Subject: LDAP Result Code Registration Person & email address to contact for further information: Kurt Zeilenga <> Result Code Name: canceled (118) Result Code Name: noSuchOperation (119) Result Code Name: tooLate (120) Result Code Name: cannotCancel (121) Specification: RFC 3909 Author/Change Controller: IESG

6. Acknowledgment

The LDAP Cancel operation is modeled after the X.511 DAP Abandon operation.
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7. References

7.1. Normative References

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC2251] Wahl, M., Howes, T., and S. Kille, "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (v3)", RFC 2251, December 1997. [RFC2830] Hodges, J., Morgan, R., and M. Wahl, "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (v3): Extension for Transport Layer Security", RFC 2830, May 2000. [RFC3377] Hodges, J. and R. Morgan, "Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (v3): Technical Specification", RFC 3377, September 2002. [X.680] International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication Standardization Sector, "Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) - Specification of Basic Notation", X.680(1997) (also ISO/IEC 8824-1:1998). [X.690] International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication Standardization Sector, "Specification of ASN.1 encoding rules: Basic Encoding Rules (BER), Canonical Encoding Rules (CER), and Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER)", X.690(1997) (also ISO/IEC 8825-1:1998).

7.2. Informative References

[RFC3383] Zeilenga, K., "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Considerations for the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)", BCP 64, RFC 3383, September 2002. [X.511] International Telecommunication Union - Telecommunication Standardization Sector, "The Directory: Abstract Service Definition", X.511(1993).

8. Author's Address

Kurt D. Zeilenga OpenLDAP Foundation EMail:
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9. Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004). This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and at, and except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights. This document and the information contained herein are provided on an "AS IS" basis and THE CONTRIBUTOR, THE ORGANIZATION HE/SHE REPRESENTS OR IS SPONSORED BY (IF ANY), THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Intellectual Property The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in this document or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has made any independent effort to identify any such rights. Information on the ISOC's procedures with respect to rights in ISOC Documents can be found in BCP 78 and BCP 79. Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement this standard. Please address the information to the IETF at ietf- Acknowledgement Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the Internet Society.