The Jabber protocols have long included a method for in-band registration with instant messaging servers and associated services. This method makes use of the 'jabber:iq:register' namespace and has been documented variously in Internet-Drafts and elsewhere. Because in-band registration is not required by RFC 2779 , documentation of the 'jabber:iq:register' namespace was removed from XMPP IM . This specification fills the void for canonical documentation.
In-band registration must make it possible for an entity to register with a host, cancel an existing registration with a host, or change a password with a host. By "host" is meant either of the following:
If needed, extensibility with regard to information gathered should be done using Data Forms (XEP-0004) .
In order to determine which fields are required for registration with a host, an entity SHOULD first send an IQ get to the host. The entity SHOULD NOT attempt to guess at the required fields by first sending an IQ set, since the nature of the required data is subject to service provisioning.
If the entity is not already registered and the host supports In-Band Registration, the host MUST inform the entity of the required registration fields. If the host does not support In-Band Registration, it MUST return a <service-unavailable/> error. If the host is redirecting registration requests to some other medium (e.g., a website), it MAY return an <instructions/> element only, as shown in the Redirection section of this document.
If the host determines (based on the 'from' address) that the entity is already registered, the IQ result that it sends in response to the IQ get MUST contain an empty <registered/> element (indicating that the entity is already registered), SHOULD contain the registration information currently on file for the entity (although the <password/> element MAY be empty), and SHOULD contain an <instructions/> element (whose XML character data MAY be modified to reflect the fact that the entity is currently registered).
If the host is an instant messaging server, it SHOULD assume that the requesting entity is unregistered at this stage unless the entity has already authenticated (for details, see the Registration with a Server section below).
If the entity is not already registered, the entity SHOULD provide the required information.
Note: The requesting entity MUST provide information for all of the elements (other than <instructions/>) contained in the IQ result.
Alternatively, registration may fail. Possible causes of failure include a username conflict (the desired username is already in use by another entity) and the fact that the requesting entity neglected to provide all of the required information.
If the requesting entity does not provide all of the requested information during registration  then the server or service MUST return a <not-acceptable/> error to the requesting entity.
If the host requires additional information above and beyond the data elements specified in the schema, it SHOULD use Data Forms as described in the Extensibility section of this document. (The next three examples show registration of an existing account with a third-party service, not of an entity with a server for the purpose of account registration.)
The user then SHOULD return the form:
Special care must be taken when an unregistered entity interacts with a server rather than a service. Normally, a server enables in-band registration so that entities can "bootstrap" their participation in the Jabber network; this bootstrapping happens when an unregistered and unauthenticated entity opens a TCP connection to a server and immediately completes the registration use case with the server, then authenticates using the newly-registered identity. As noted, when a server receives an IQ-get for registration information, it SHOULD assume that the requesting entity is unregistered unless the entity has already authenticated.
Depending on local service provisioning, a server MAY return a <not-acceptable/> stanza error if an unregistered entity attempts to register too many times before authenticating or if an entity attempts to register a second identity after successfully completing the registration use case; a server MAY also return a <not-authorized/> stream error if the unregistered entity waits too long before authenticating or attempts to complete a task other than authentication after successfully completing the registration use case.
The 'jabber:iq:register' namespace also makes it possible for an entity to cancel a registration with a host by sending a <remove/> element in an IQ set. The host MUST determine the identity of the requesting entity based on the 'from' address of the IQ get.
There are two scenarios:
If the entity cancels its registration with its "home" server (i.e., the server at which it has maintained its XMPP account), then the entity SHOULD NOT include a 'from' or 'to' address in the remove request the server SHOULD then return a <not-authorized/> stream error and terminate all active sessions for the entity. The server SHOULD perform the remove based on the bare JID <firstname.lastname@example.org> associated with the current session or connection over which it received the remove request. If the server is an instant messaging and presence server that conforms to XMPP IM , the server SHOULD also cancel all existing presence subscriptions related to that entity (as stored in the entity's roster).
If the entity cancels its registration with a service other than its home server, its home server MUST stamp a 'from' address on the remove request, which in accordance with XMPP Core will be the entity's full JID <email@example.com/resource>. The service MUST perform the remove based on the bare JID <firstname.lastname@example.org> portion of the 'from' address.
As specified below, several error cases are possible.
|<bad-request/>||The <remove/> element was not the only child element of the <query/> element.|
|<forbidden/>||The sender does not have sufficient permissions to cancel the registration.|
|<not-allowed/>||No sender is allowed to cancel registrations in-band.|
|<registration-required/>||The entity sending the remove request was not previously registered.|
|<unexpected-request/>||The host is an instant messaging server and the IQ get does not contain a 'from' address because the entity is not registered with the server.|
A given deployment MAY choose to require additional information (such as the old password or previously-gathered personal information) before cancelling the registration. In order to do so, the server or service SHOULD return a Data Form in the error stanza:
The user then SHOULD return the form:
The 'jabber:iq:register' namespace enables a user to change his or her password with a server or service. Once registered, the user can change passwords by sending an XML stanza of the following form:
Because the password change request contains the password in plain text, a client SHOULD NOT send such a request unless the underlying stream is encrypted (using SSL or TLS) and the client has verified that the server certificate is signed by a trusted certificate authority. A given deployment MAY choose to disable password changes if the stream is not properly encrypted, to disable in-band password changes, or to require additional information (such as the old password or previously-gathered personal information) before changing the password.
If the user provides an empty password element or a password element that contains no XML character data (i.e., either <password/> or <password></password>), the server or service MUST NOT change the password to a null value, but instead MUST maintain the existing password.
Several error conditions are possible:
|<bad-request/>||The password change request does not contain complete information (e.g., the service requires inclusion of the <username/> element).|
|<not-authorized/>||The server or service does not consider the channel safe enough to enable a password change.|
|<not-allowed/>||The server or service does not allow password changes.|
|<unexpected-request/>||The host is an instant messaging server and the IQ set does not contain a 'from' address because the entity is not registered with the server.|
The server or service SHOULD NOT return the original XML sent in IQ error stanzas related to password changes.
In order to require additional information before changing the password, the server or service SHOULD return a Data Form in the error stanza:
The user then SHOULD return the form:
The fields defined for the 'jabber:iq:register' namespace are strictly limited to those specified in the schema. If a host needs to gather additional information, XEP-0004: Data Forms ("x:data") SHOULD be used according to the following rules:
Support for extensibility via Data Forms is RECOMMENDED but is not required for compliance with this document.
A given deployment MAY wish to redirect users to another medium (e.g., a website) for registration, rather than allowing in-band registration. The recommended approach is to include only the <instructions/> element rather than the required fields or a data form in the IQ result, as well as a URL encoded using Out-of-Band Data (XEP-0066)  (see the Precedence Order section below for further details).
Given the foregoing discussion, it is evident that an entity could receive any combination of iq:register, x:data, and x:oob namespaces from a service in response to a request for information. The precedence order is as follows:
(Naturally, if the receiving application does not understand any of the foregoing namespaces, it MUST ignore the data qualified by that namespace.)
Thus it is possible that the host may return any of the following combinations, in which case the submitting application MUST proceed as defined in the table below (it is assumed that "iq:register fields" means instructions plus fields, whereas "iq:register instructions" means the <instructions/> element only):
|Included Data||Recommended Processing||Notes|
|iq:register fields||Submit the completed iq:register fields.||This is the normal processing model for "legacy" services and clients.|
|x:data form + iq:register fields||Submit the completed x:data form if understood, otherwise submit the completed iq:register fields; however, an application MUST NOT submit both.||The iq:register fields would be included for "legacy" clients; this combination SHOULD NOT be used if the x:data form includes required fields (e.g., a public key) that are not equivalent to defined iq:register fields (the next combination SHOULD be used instead).|
|x:data form + iq:register instructions||Submit the completed x:data form if understood, otherwise present the iq:register instructions to the user.||This combination SHOULD be used if the x:data form includes required fields (e.g., a public key) that are not equivalent to defined iq:register fields and an alternate URL is not available.|
|x:data form + x:oob URL||Submit the completed x:data form if understood, otherwise present the provided URL as an alternative.||This combination MAY be returned by a host, but a host SHOULD return the next combination instead in order to support the full range of legacy clients.|
|x:data form + iq:register instructions + x:oob URL||Submit the completed x:data form if understood, otherwise present the iq:register instructions and provided URL as an alternative.||This combination SHOULD be used if the x:data form includes required fields (e.g., a public key) that are not equivalent to defined iq:register fields and an alternate URL is available.|
|iq:register instructions + x:oob URL||Present the iq:register instructions and provided URL as a redirect.||This combination MAY be returned by a host that wishes to redirect registration to a URL.|
|iq:register fields + x:oob URL||Submit the completed iq:register fields but optionally present the provided URL as an alternative.||This combination is NOT RECOMMENDED.|
This element is obsolete, but is documented here for historical completeness.
The <key/> element was used as a "transaction key" in certain IQ interactions in order to verify the identity of the sender. In particular, it was used by servers (but generally not services) during in-band registration, since normally a user does not yet have a 'from' address before registering. The flow is as follows:
The <key/> element was also used during registration removal.
RFC 6120 defines methods for advertising feature support during stream negotiation. For the sake of efficiency, it may be desirable for a server to advertise support for in-band registration as a stream feature. The namespace for reporting support within <stream:features/> is "http://jabber.org/features/iq-register". Upon receiving a stream header qualified by the 'jabber:client' namespace, a server returns a stream header to the client and MAY announce support for in-band registration by including the relevant stream feature:
A server SHOULD NOT advertise in-band registration to another server (i.e., if the initial stream header was qualified by the 'jabber:server' namespace).
As defined herein, the 'jabber:iq:register' namespace supports both the old (HTTP-style) error codes and the extensible error classes and conditions specified in XMPP Core. A compliant server or service implementation MUST support both old-style and new-style error handling. A compliant client implementation SHOULD support both. For mappings of HTTP-style errors to XMPP-style conditions, refer to Error Condition Mappings (XEP-0086) .
If an entity supports the protocol defined herein, it SHOULD report that by including a Service Discovery feature of "jabber:iq:register" in response to disco#info requests.
Although connecting clients typically determine support during stream negotiation via the stream feature, the service discovery feature is helpful for server-to-server connections as well as for clients that are already connected (e.g., to determine if password changes are possible in-band).
In-band registration is usually not included in other messaging protocols (for example, SMTP does not include a method for registering with an email server), often for reasons of security. The registration methods defined herein are known to be insecure and SHOULD NOT be used unless the channel between the registrant and the entity that accepts registration has been secured. For these reasons, the deployment of in-band registration is a policy matter and a given deployment MAY choose to disable in-band registration and password changes. Furthermore, this document should be deprecated as soon as a successor protocol is defined and implemented.
This document requires no interaction with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) .
The XMPP Registrar includes the 'http://jabber.org/features/iq-register' namespace in its registry of stream feature namespaces.
As authorized by XMPP URI Query Components (XEP-0147) , the XMPP Registrar maintains a registry of queries and key-value pairs for use in XMPP URIs (see <https://xmpp.org/registrar/querytypes.html>).
As described below, the registered querytypes for registration management are "register" and "unregister".
The 'jabber:iq:register' namespace include a mechanism for creating a registration. The registered querytype for doing so is "register".
Because registration is a two-step process, the application MUST then send an IQ-get to the entity in order to retrieve the required registration fields:
The application MUST then present an appropriate interface that enables the user to complete the registration form. Once the user provides the information, the application MUST send an IQ-set to the entity.
The following submission registers the "register" querytype.
The 'jabber:iq:register' namespace include a mechanism for cancelling an existing registration. The registered querytype for doing so is "unregister".
The following submission registers the "unregister" querytype.
There is one FORM_TYPE and set of associated field types and names for field standardization in relation to each major use case for the 'jabber:iq:register' namespace: registration, cancellation of registration, and change of password. The initial submissions for these FORM_TYPES are provided below (additional fields may be provided in future submissions).
This document in other formats: XML PDF
This XMPP Extension Protocol is copyright © 1999 – 2019 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. ##
In no event and under no legal theory, whether in tort (including negligence), contract, or otherwise, unless required by applicable law (such as deliberate and grossly negligent acts) or agreed to in writing, shall the XMPP Standards Foundation or any author of this Specification be liable for damages, including any direct, indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character arising from, out of, or in connection with the Specification or the implementation, deployment, or other use of the Specification (including but not limited to damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other commercial damages or losses), even if the XMPP Standards Foundation or such author has been advised of the possibility of such damages.
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 <email@example.com> 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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".
7. This includes providing an empty password element or a password element that contains no XML character data, i.e., either <password/> or <password></password>.
12. 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/>.
13. 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/
Defined service discovery support.
Clarified that fields for "first" and "last" in fact always represent given name and family name, respectively.
Further specified integration with data forms, specifically if needed to require additional information when cancelling an existing registration (e.g., username and password) or changing a password (e.g., old password); also clarified server handling of cancelled registrations.
Clarified the extensibility rules; removed expiration date; modified schema to document optional inclusion of jabber:x:data and jabber:x:oob information.
Per a vote of the Jabber Council, advanced status to Final; also specified that by server is meant an instant messaging server.
In order to address Council concerns, clarified precedence order of x:data, iq:register, and x:oob; further specified server handling of initial registration requests from unregistered entities.
Specified server handling of requests from unregistered entities.
Removed conformance language regarding servers and services (belongs in a protocol suite specification).
Added text about redirection to web registration.
Documented use of <key/> element; added optional stream feature; added XMPP error handling; specified handling of empty passwords.
Moved change password use case from XEP-0078.
Per a vote of the Jabber Council, advanced status to Draft.
Changes to address Council concerns.
Restored the <misc/> and <text/> elements; added the old <key/> element; specified these three elements as obsolete.
Added <registered/> element; specified FORM_TYPE for x:data form; clarified that support for the extensibility mechanism is optional; removed the <misc/> and <text/> elements (not necessary given extensibility option); added <nick/>, <first/>, and <last/> elements that were traditionally documented as part of jabber:iq:register.
Removed XMPP-style error conditions until formats are stable.
Removed "encrypted secret" content, added information about expiration date.
Added "encrypted secret" content.
Slight editorial revisions.
Fixed schema, made minor editorial changes.