This specification documents a protocol currently used to search information repositories on the Jabber network. To date, the jabber:iq:search protocol has been used mainly to search for people who have registered with user directories (e.g., the "Jabber User Directory" hosted at users.jabber.org). However, the jabber:iq:search protocol is not limited to user directories, and could be used to search other Jabber information repositories (such as chatroom directories) or even to provide a Jabber interface to conventional search engines.
The basic functionality is to query an information repository regarding the possible search fields, to send a search query, and to receive search results. Note well that there is currently no mechanism for paging through results or limiting the number of "hits", and that the allowable search fields are limited to those defined in the XML schema; however, extensibility MAY be provided via the Data Forms (XEP-0004)  protocol, as described below.
In order to search an information respository, a user first needs to discover what search fields are supported by the service:
The service MUST then return the possible search fields to the user, and MAY include instructions:
The user MAY then submit a search request, specifying values for any desired fields:
The service SHOULD then return a list of search results that match the values provided:
If there are no matching directory entries, the service MUST return an empty <query/> element:
The fields defined in the 'jabber:iq:search' namespace are strictly limited to those specified in the schema. If a host needs to gather additional information, Data Forms SHOULD be used; a host MUST NOT add new fields to the 'jabber:iq:search' namespace. Support for extensibility via Data Forms is RECOMMENDED, but is not required for compliance with this document.
The extensibility mechanism for searching makes use of a hidden FORM_TYPE field for the purpose of standardizing field names within the form, as defined in Field Standardization for Data Forms (XEP-0068) . Implementations supporting this extensibility mechanism SHOULD support field standardization as well.
The intent of the <first/> and <last/> elements (and associated data form fields) is that they map to given name and family name, respectively. Therefore, cultures that place the family name first and the given name second (e.g., as is done in China) would use <first/> for the given name and <last/> for the family name, NOT the other way around.
For example, the name of the Chinese philosopher Confucius would be rendered as shown below because his given name was Qui and his family name was Kong.
There are no security features or concerns related to this proposal.
This document requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) .
The XMPP Registrar  shall include the following information in its registries.
The XMPP Registrar includes the 'jabber:iq:search' namespace in its registry of protocol namespaces.
The following fields are reserved for use within jabber:x:data forms scoped by a FORM_TYPE of 'jabber:iq:search'; additional fields MAY be added via the XMPP Registrar's normal registration process but are outside the scope of this document.
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This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright © 1999 – 2020 by the XMPP Standards Foundation (XSF).
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this specification (the "Specification"), to make use of the Specification without restriction, including without limitation the rights to implement the Specification in a software program, deploy the Specification in a network service, and copy, modify, merge, publish, translate, distribute, sublicense, or sell copies of the Specification, and to permit persons to whom the Specification is furnished to do so, subject to the condition that the foregoing copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Specification. Unless separate permission is granted, modified works that are redistributed shall not contain misleading information regarding the authors, title, number, or publisher of the Specification, and shall not claim endorsement of the modified works by the authors, any organization or project to which the authors belong, or the XMPP Standards Foundation.
## NOTE WELL: This Specification is provided on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ##
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This XMPP Extension Protocol has been contributed in full conformance with the XSF's Intellectual Property Rights Policy (a copy of which can be found at <https://xmpp.org/about/xsf/ipr-policy> or obtained by writing to XMPP Standards Foundation, P.O. Box 787, Parker, CO 80134 USA).
The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is defined in the XMPP Core (RFC 6120) and XMPP IM (RFC 6121) specifications contributed by the XMPP Standards Foundation to the Internet Standards Process, which is managed by the Internet Engineering Task Force in accordance with RFC 2026. Any protocol defined in this document has been developed outside the Internet Standards Process and is to be understood as an extension to XMPP rather than as an evolution, development, or modification of XMPP itself.
The primary venue for discussion of XMPP Extension Protocols is the <firstname.lastname@example.org> discussion list.
Discussion on other xmpp.org discussion lists might also be appropriate; see <http://xmpp.org/about/discuss.shtml> for a complete list.
Errata can be sent to <email@example.com>.
The following requirements keywords as used in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119: "MUST", "SHALL", "REQUIRED"; "MUST NOT", "SHALL NOT"; "SHOULD", "RECOMMENDED"; "SHOULD NOT", "NOT RECOMMENDED"; "MAY", "OPTIONAL".
3. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols, such as port numbers and URI schemes. For further information, see <http://www.iana.org/>.
4. The XMPP Registrar maintains a list of reserved protocol namespaces as well as registries of parameters used in the context of XMPP extension protocols approved by the XMPP Standards Foundation. For further information, see <https://xmpp.org/registrar/>.
Note: Older versions of this specification might be available at http://xmpp.org/extensions/attic/
Clarified that <first/> and <last/> elements in fact always represent given name and family name, respectively.
Clarified scope (searching of any information repository, not just user directories); added search and result examples to the extensibility section.
Added XML schema; added text regarding extensibility via Data Forms; added FORM_TYPE submission.
Updated status to Active per vote of the Jabber Council.