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Page Status

This page is the official naming policy for the UW NetID system.

Purpose 

This document describes the syntax of identifiers in the UW NetID system.  It is updated as needed as the UW NetID system is extended to support new functionality.

Principles and Constraints

The UW NetID system supports identifiers for a number of different purposes, using distinct "types".  Each type has its own syntax.  The syntax of each type is intended to be appropriate for use in identifying entities of that type.  The overall namespace extends beyond classic user identifiers for authentication purposes to cover related uses that must be part of a single namespace to be part of a consistent enterprise deployment.

The core function of the system is providing personal UW NetIDs to end users.  Preserving "friendly" identifier space for personal UW NetIDs is a key goal.

Supporting management schemes appropriate for each type is another goal.  For example, in some cases it is appropriate to link one netid to another netid via naming, or to create the possibility of naming delegation via hierarchy. 

The system has a number of key constraints:

  • To be useful as usernames in commonly-used UNIX systems, identifiers must 8 characters or fewer, lowercase ASCII only, with a first character being a letter.
  • To be useful as usernames in Windows domains, identifiers must be 20 characters or fewer.
  • To be useful as group names in Windows domains, identifiers must be 64 characters or fewer.
  • In Windows domains, usernames and group names are part of the same namespace.
  • The UW NetID is used as the namespace for the university-wide University of Washington email domain (@u.washington.edu, @washington.edu, @uw.edu).

Syntax

Base

All UW NetIDs conform to this base syntax.  Types (or other administrative divisions) may introduce further refinements.

  • 1-128 octets
  • Lower case ASCII letters, and digits
  • Other characters:  dash, underscore, dot, space

Portions of this namespace are reserved for particular use.  Unless otherwise noted, UW NetIDs may not fall within the following namespace:

  • Begin with 2 letters followed by an underscore
  • Begin with 1 letter following by the letters "adm" and an underscore
  • 3 letters followed by 5 digits

Personal UW NetIDs

  • 1-8 octets
  • Lower case ASCII letters and digits
  • First character must be a letter

Admin UW NetIDs

  • 6-13 octets
  • Lower case ASCII letters, digits and underscores
  • Must be of the form:  a four character string from a defined set (e.g. "wadm"), followed by an underscore, followed by a personal UW NetID (eg. wadm_zephyrmc, eadm_dzazzo)

Shared UW NetIDs

There are several naming schemes within the shared UW NetID space.  These schemes are:

  1. Departmental, Course, and Computing Support Org Shared UW NetIDs
    • 1-20 octets
    • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, and dashes
    • First character must be a letter
    • Should reflect a department, course or use name.
      Note: Departmental, Course, and Computing Support Orgs Shared UW NetIDs may be longer than 20 characters if an exception is granted. Occasionally exceptions allow underscore characters but are rare.
  2. Mailman Shared UW NetIDs
    • 1-29 octets
    • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, underscores, dashes
      Note: A mailman list name may be converted to a shared UW NetID if an exception is granted.
  3. Resource Shared UW NetIDs
    • 3-64 octets
    • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, periods, underscores and dashes
    • Starting with "r_" (eg. r_uwit_conf1234,r_cfr_proj2 )

Temporary UW NetIDs

  • 7-20 octets
  • A minimum of 3 letters followed by a minimum of 4 digits
  • Lower case ASCII letters and digits

Application UW NetIDs

  • 3-20 octets
  • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, periods, dashes, underscores and forward slashes
  • Must start with the letters 'a_' (eg. a_myuw, a_opus-mail)
  • Should reflect an application or service name

Note: Application UW NetIDs may be created outside the naming convention if an exception is granted.

Reserved UW NetIDs

  • no additional refinement

There are several naming schemes within the reserved UW NetID space. These schemes include:

  1. UW Group IDs
    • 3-128 octets
    • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, underscore, dash
    • Following the naming convention u_uwnetid_groupname or uw_groupname where uwnetid may only be a shared or personal UW NetID.
    • Adhoc groups are of the name g_groupname
    • Course groups are of the name course_[year][AUT|WIN|SPR|SUM]-[CurriculumCode][CourseNumber][Section] (e.g. course_2009AUT-ACCTG199A)
  2. Microsoft Infrastructure Contacts
    • 3-64 octets
    • Lower case ASCII letters, digits, periods, underscores and dashes
    • Starting with "c_" (eg. c_edu.washington.forward_userid or c_help_internal-forward.u.washington.edu)

Reserved Namespace Summary

A summary of reserved namespaces which include UW NetIDs actually provisioned and namespaces reserved for infrastructure partners.

NamespaceProcess
wadm_, sadm_, eadm_Admin UW NetIDs
a_Application UW NetIDs
uw_, g_ u_, course_Groups Service
c_Microsoft Infrastructure Contacts
og_, site_, r_

Microsoft Collaborative Applications

Change log

  • (note: history before Sep 2009 needs to be unearthed)
  • 2009-09-09: add "c_" for UWWI contacts, clarify that this is official policy document (RLM)
  • 2010-08-02: reclassified resources and mailman lists from reserved to shared UW NetIDs (ZCLM)
  • 2011-12-07: added referenced to Computing Support Org UW NetIDs (MWB)
  • 2013-04-10: added 64 character constraint on group identifiers in Windows domains (ND)
  • 2016-06-08: added og_, r_, site_ reserved namespaces for MSCA. og_ is a new reservation (JP)
  • 2017-05-30: changed namespace for shared resource UW NetIDs from 20 to 64 characters (JP)
  • 2018-05-22: formatting changes only (ND)
  • 2019-05-01: Shared UW NetIDs to 20 characters max (JP)
  • 2019-06-03: Shared UW NetIDs may include a dash character (JP)