I know what SLP is,  who uses it and is it important.

Posted on 2004-09-18
Last Modified: 2013-11-29

I am currenty in a very inquizitive frame of mind because I am looking for a job and keep on getting odd test questions by employers.

Who uses SLP and what is it's importants?   I know it is a Service locater.   Is it for linux, windows, mac, PDA ?  Is this widely in use ?  What is the microsoft spin on it and are they going in after the fact and claiming they invented this too ?

A good website on this is:

I did a web search and was confused.  
Question by:TIMFOX123
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Expert Comment

ID: 12093564

A big drawback of TCP/IP against IPX/SPX was that a host (member workstation) in TCP/IP is almost "lost" in the net. It has to be configured well or it doesn't even know where to get a simple name resoultion service save communicating with other hosts.

IPX/SPX had a better approach to that: it was self-configuring (do you remember to adjust your network address with IPX/SPX? No? Me Neither.) and even found the services available in a network (better: on different hosts in that network) automatically by repeated broadcasts of "service anouncements".

Much work had been done to reduce the drawbacks of TCP/IP in that point (e.g. DHCP servers, dynamic updates DNS-servers, etc.)

I've heard about SLP recently in association with VoIP. I didn't get much into that matter, but it would be a cool feature for a telephone to be plugged into a network and gets every information it needs from the net to work properly.

You can get an in depth description from the inventors (IETF)

Accepted Solution

abu_deep earned 400 total points
ID: 12095239
The Service Location Protocol (SLP) provides a flexible and scalable
   framework for providing hosts with access to information about the
   existence, location, and configuration of networked services.
   Traditionally, users have had to find services by knowing the name of
   a network host (a human readable text string) which is an alias for a
   network address.  SLP eliminates the need for a user to know the name
   of a network host supporting a service.  Rather, the user supplies
   the desired type of service and a set of attributes which describe
   the service.  Based on that description, the Service Location
   Protocol resolves the network address of the service for the user.

   SLP provides a dynamic configuration mechanism for applications in
   local area networks.  Applications are modeled as clients that need
   to find servers attached to any of the available networks within an
   enterprise.  For cases where there are many different clients and/or
   services available, the protocol is adapted to make use of nearby
   Directory Agents that offer a centralized repository for advertised

SLP is intended to function within networks under cooperative
   Administrative control.  Such networks permit a policy to be
   Implemented regarding security, multicast routing and organization of
   Services and clients into groups which are not be feasible on the
   Scale of the Internet as a whole.

Is it widely in use ?....................................
   SLP has been designed to serve enterprise networks with shared
   Services and it may not necessarily scale for wide-area service
   Discovery throughout the global Internet, or in networks where there
   Are hundreds of thousands of clients or tens of thousands of

What is the microsoft spin on it and are they going in after the fact and claiming they invented this too ?

while Microsoft worked on the UPnP project (Universal Plug and Play). they were evaluating SLP as the basis for UPnP discovery but decided against it .this analysis was made publicly available to the SLP working group chair and others. they discussed these issues and in some cases they agreed with Microsoft concerns but at the time SLP V2 was just about to be standardized and understandably they didn't want to start over again. So UPnP instead decided to move forward with the Simple Service Discovery Protocol (SSDP).
More on this is found at

Is it for linux, windows, mac, PDA ?
It's a protocol standard which mean that it's portable across all platform so it could be used in linux mac pda and windows (through novel)


Author Comment

ID: 12106283
This was a 125 point question but the answer was just so great I had to bring it up to 400 points.  This has the "smell" of being inspired by IPV6 although I do not know that.  IPv6 has some of this ability as I understand.  

Great answer.  

Great answer

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