6.4 Email Updates

Email updates were the original method of updating the RIPE Database. They are still used by many people, although synchronous updates by the other methods now account for the majority of updates.

Email update messages must be in plain text and can be MIME-encoded. If encoded messages are multipart/signed, the signature part will be associated with the corresponding MIME text part. When an encoded message is received, the database software will take each valid MIME part (including any related signature part) and merge them into one update message. Please see section 'MIME Support' for more information.

Passwords needed for authorising the updates of all objects in the message must be included somewhere in the message. This is done with the pseudo-attribute “password:”, for example:

password: some clear text

This “password:” pseudo-attribute can be placed anywhere in the message. One attribute is needed for each required password. If the message is MIME-encoded the passwords can be in any MIME part. When it is all merged into a single update message, all passwords found will apply to all objects in the update. Passwords can also be contained within the text part of a signed update message and apply to objects outside the signed part. All credentials will be extracted before any authorisation checks are made. The “password:” pseudo-attributes will be removed before any of the objects are processed. This ensures that they will never be considered as part of any object.

Acknowledgements (ack) containing the result of the update are returned to the sender of the email based on the "Reply-to:" and "From:" fields in the email header. Notifications (notif) may also be sent based on email addresses found in the attributes within each object in the update message and the related mntner objects. See section on Notifications.

To submit an email update, send your email message to one of the following email addresses:

There is no limit on how many objects that can be included in an email update message, or MIME part. There is a maximum limit on the size of an email message, which is 40 MB.

Only one ack message is returned for each update message. However, there may be many notif messages generated for each object in the update. This can result in large numbers of emails sent out when an update contains many objects. The ack and all notifs are all sent out at the end of processing the whole update message. Your mail server needs to be able to handle large numbers of emails coming from a single source (@ripe.net), otherwise they may all get marked as spam. You should optimise the number of update messages and number of objects per update to suit your working practises.

This documentation is in draft status.
Please send any feedback or feature requests to ripe-dbm@ripe.net.