Announcing NUM

1st September 2020, by Elliott Brown

Today we're announcing NUM, a new DNS-based protocol to store and retrieve structured data

The Namespace Utility Modules (NUM) protocol can be used to store structured data for any domain name or email address. NUM records can be stored in the DNS of the independent NUM zone (e.g. _num.example.com) or in the hosted NUM zone (a DNS-based store of NUM records below the domain num.net) using a simple web interface: NUM Server Content on another site..

We're announcing this experimental protocol to the technical community today and are very interested in feedback and input.

Custom and standardised records

Custom NUM records can store structured data for any purpose, particular use cases are standardised with modules Content elsewhere on this site.. One of our leading use cases for NUM is contact information. Enabling organisations and individuals to store contact data in the DNS opens up lots of new possibilities like dialling a domain name or email address.

Automatically populating the DNS with millions of pieces of structured data

As well as offering a simple, user-friendly way to adopt NUM, the NUM Server also helps overcome the chicken-and-egg problem. We intend to populate NUM records for millions of domain names based on website information hosted on those domain names. We expect to publish this data in early 2021.

Free, unrestricted and unlimited access to data

Since NUM data is stored and served using DNS it's ultra-fast, reliable and massively scalable. Access to records on the NUM Server is free, unrestricted and unlimited forever. NUM enables organisations and individuals to take back control of their data and provides a valuable resource to developers building devices, apps and services.

Find out more
Experimenting with NUM