A management system contains: several (potentially many) nodes, each
with a processing entity, termed an agent, which has access to
management instrumentation; at least one management station; and, a
management protocol, used to convey management information between
the agents and management stations. Operations of the protocol are
carried out under an administrative framework which defines
authentication, authorization, access control, and privacy policies.
Management stations execute management applications which monitor and
control managed elements. Managed elements are devices such as
hosts, routers, terminal servers, etc., which are monitored and
controlled via access to their management information.
Management information is viewed as a collection of managed objects,
residing in a virtual information store, termed the Management
Information Base (MIB). Collections of related objects are defined
in MIB modules. These modules are written using a subset of OSI's
Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) , termed the Structure of
Management Information (SMI) .
When designing a MIB module, it is often useful to define new types
similar to those defined in the SMI. In comparison to a type defined
in the SMI, each of these new types has a different name, a similar
syntax, but a more precise semantics. These newly defined types are
termed textual conventions, and are used for the convenience of
humans reading the MIB module. It is the purpose of this document to
define the initial set of textual conventions available to all MIB
Objects defined using a textual convention are always encoded by
means of the rules that define their primitive type. However,
textual conventions often have special semantics associated with
them. As such, an ASN.1 macro, TEXTUAL-CONVENTION, is used to
concisely convey the syntax and semantics of a textual convention.
For all textual conventions defined in an information module, the
name shall be unique and mnemonic, and shall not exceed 64 characters
in length. (However, names longer than 32 characters are not
recommended.) All names used for the textual conventions defined in
all "standard" information modules shall be unique.