Background: Know: Recognize: Prerequisites - OSI

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Why ASN.1? : Outsider's ViewEdit

Notation for describing data structures; it's very much like a type declaration in C or C++. In terms of Telecommunications and Computer Networking, ASN 1 a fixed standard notation that describes data structures for representing, encoding, transmitting, and decoding data.

Why : in Technical Terms ?

The main use of this is to describe the structure of objects in encoding by providing a set a standard rules. With ASN.1, the protocol designer can view and describe the relevant information and its structure at a high level and need not be unduly concerned with how it is represented while in transit.

  • ASN.1 comes into its own when the information being described is complex. This is because the language allows arbitrarily complex structures to be built up in a uniform way from simpler components, and ultimately from a few simple information types.</li></li></li>
  • ASN.1 is, in effect, a data definition language, allowing a designer to define the parameters in a protocol data unit without concern as to how they are encoded for transmission. He merely states a need for an Integer followed by text, followed by a floating point number, etc. They can be named and tagged such that two integers can be differentiated as meaning "filesize" or "record number", for example.

    Why: ​Non Technical ?

    When one can use manually write encoding and decoding routines, Alternatively an ASN Compiler can also be used as ASN Compiler which takes an input(according to ASN.1 Specifications) and generates computer code ( in C, C++..etc) for an equivalent representation of Data Structures. This computer code, together with supplied run-time libraries, can then convert encoded data structures to and from the computer language representation.

    Uses: Application Fields of ASN.1

    Initially , though its main use was for email within the interconnection environment , this has been adopted for many other wide range of applications nowadays. Some of the most Important are listed Below

    • Audio and Video over the Internet, Digital Certificates, Secure Mail , Electronic Commerce and such emerging Technologies ,networking and OS of Computers uses ASN.1's Encoding Rules.
    • To Provide Security in Cryptography Technology for Purchases using Credit Cards over the Internet.
    • ASN.1 Software is used in Internet Exporer,Outlook and NetMeeting as well as in Wireless Applications from Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson.
    • Diagnostic Monitoring systems in cars and Trucks rely on ASN.1 messages for detecting faults in Production Equipment and to dispatch maintenance personnel