Managed objects are accessed via a virtual information store, termed the Management Information Base or MIB. Objects in the MIB are defined using Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) .
Each type of object (termed an object type) has a name, a syntax, and an encoding. The name is represented uniquely as an OBJECT IDENTIFIER. An OBJECT IDENTIFIER is an administratively assigned name. The administrative policies used for assigning names are discussed later in this memo.
The syntax for an object type defines the abstract data structure corresponding to that object type. For example, the structure of a given object type might be an INTEGER or OCTET STRING. Although in general, we should permit any ASN.1 construct to be available for use in defining the syntax of an object type, this memo purposely restricts the ASN.1 constructs which may be used. These restrictions are made solely for the sake of simplicity.
The encoding of an object type is simply how instances of that object type are represented using the object's type syntax. Implicitly tied to the notion of an object's syntax and encoding is how the object is represented when being transmitted on the network. This memo specifies the use of the basic encoding rules of ASN.1 .
It is beyond the scope of this memo to define either the MIB used for network management or the network management protocol. As mentioned earlier, these tasks are left to companion memos. This memo attempts to minimize the restrictions placed upon its companions so as to maximize generality. However, in some cases, restrictions have been made (e.g., the syntax which may be used when defining object types in the MIB) in order to encourage a particular style of management. Future editions of this memo may remove these restrictions.