3.10.1 Using the Organisation Object

The organisation object was introduced in 2004, long after the RIPE Database data model was designed. The organisation object can make life easier in some situations.

Consider all users as organisations, whether they are multinational companies, universities or individuals. To use the RIPE Database, each of these organisations needs a set of data objects that represent their business model. The organisation must have:

  1. People who can be contacted
  2. These people have defined roles in the business
  3. These roles include responsibility for Internet resources
  4. These resources need authorisation tokens to protect them
  5. These tokens may need public keys.

This set of objects represents your organisation. When the organisation is an individual who has been assigned some PI space, they may need several objects in the database. Multinational companies may have many hundreds of thousands of objects.

The organisation object was introduced as a way of keeping track of these sets of objects. The idea is to put the organisational identity of the entity at the centre by defining its organisation object. The organisation's business model can then be mapped out by creating the objects from the list above as appropriate. Each of these objects can be directly linked to the organisation object using the "org:" attribute. Or for a simplified model, link the mntner objects using the "org:" attribute in each mntner object. All objects must be maintained, so there is an indirect reference back to the organisation object through the mntner objects.

Some multinational companies may have a distributed business model with different parts of the organisation responsible for different parts of their network. In this situation additional organisation objects can be created. These objects can reference the main organisation object through their own "org:" attribute. This allows users to keep track of the entire company's data or the parts delegated to different sections of the company.

By using these “org:” references, bulk changes to data are very much simplified. Tools can be written and deployed more easily. New ideas can be rolled out quickly across an entire data set. The more structured you make your data, the more easily it is to automate processes.

When the organisation object was first introduced there was some resistance to make references to it for fear of the public or competitors being able to map out their business. But now that there are so many ways to (inverse) query the data, it is not difficult to find all resources or customers of any organisation. If you don't set up your data in a structured way, the management of the data becomes more complicated.

Basically the organisation object should be the centre of your presence in the RIPE Database. All your human resources and Internet resources and authentication tokens should hang off this central point.