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Abstract Syntax Notation

  ASN.1 (Abstract Syntax Notation One) is the international standard for representing data types and structures. CCITT published the first version of the standard as X.409 in 1984 after approximately four years of effort. A newer version of ASN.1 resulting from a cooperative venture of CCITT and ISO is specified in X.208 (1988) of CCITT and ISO 8824 (1990). There are also amendments (ISO 8824 PDAM 2) titled Part 1: Basic ASN.1, and three additional parts: Information Object Specification, Constraint Specification, and Parameterization of ASN.1.

The ISO and and CCITT again released a cooperative version of ASN.1 standards for 1994. These standards were documented in the following documents:

ITU-T X.680 ISO/IEC 8824-1
ITU-T X.681 ISO/IEC 8824-2
ITU-T X.682 ISO/IEC 8824-3
ITU-T X.683 ISO/IEC 8824-4
ITU-T X.690 ISO/IEC 8825-1
ITU-T X.691 ISO/IEC 8825-2

These standards were again revised in 2002, where only minor changes were made to the previous documents.

The standards documents contain detailed specifications of ASN.1, including definitions given as productions in Backus-Naur Form (BNF). The most common features of the abstract syntax are included in the following sections.

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Computer Networks and Open Systems
An Application Development Perspective

Lillian N. Cassel
Richard H. Austing

Jones & Bartlett Publisher
ISBN 0-7637-1122-5

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