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API domain DNS zone – explained

Within WhoAPI there is a particular API called Domain DNS zone, that I would like to cover today.

Let’s dissect the phrase DNS zone API and cover the basics.

API – Application Programming Interface, is a protocol intended to be used as an interface by software components to communicate with each other. Source Wikipedia. An example I like the most is when an operating system like the Windows or MAC OSX receives a command from a text editor to print a document (using a printer), it communicates over an API. Similar to that, web APIs like WhoAPI work. Just a form of communication between two software or 2 servers. Think of it as gold, and an excellent conductor.

A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control on the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS). Source Wikipedia. Basically, it’s a name that points to an IP address, a thin layer that covers a complex location like 192.168.1.1./folder/file and turns it into something memorable a www.domainaname.com. Technically, any name registered in the DNS is a domain name.

Which brings us to the next one (and my personal favorite).

DNS – The Domain Name System is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates easily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide.

Now that we’ve covered DNS, we can move to the DNS zone.

DNS zone is a portion of a domain name space using the Domain Name System (DNS) for which administrative responsibility has been delegated.

Every domain name, which is a part of the DNS, has several DNS settings, also known as DNS records. In order for these DNS records to be kept in order, the DNS zone was created.

The DNS Zone file

The DNS Zone file is the representation of the DNS Zone – it is the actual file, which contains all the records for a specific domain. In a DNS Zone file, each line can hold only one record, and each DNS Zone file must start with the TTL (Time to Live), which specifies for how long the records should be kept in the DNS Server’s cache. The other mandatory record for a DNS Zone file is the SOA (Start of Authority) record – it specifies the primary authoritative name server for the DNS Zone. Source NTC Hosting.

In basic layman English, all this makes the entire Internet (web and email) work!

So, what is an API domain DNS zone? It lets you access easily the information critical for web and email functionality. You have below what it looks like, one out of hundreds of millions you can create using WhoAPI.

API domain DNS zone - example return
API domain DNS zone – example return

Written by Goran Duskic

I am the founder and CEO at WhoAPI. Entrepreneur for more than a decade in the hosting and domain industry. Sold my previous company. 500 Startups and StartLabs alumni. Author of a white paper "Domain Disclosure: Dirty Dozen" and eBook "26 Fundraising Questions for Startups".

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