09 September 2019

Today’s blog post focuses on a major milestone on the path to expanding the .au namespace from “example.com.au” type domain names to shorter, simpler and more direct “example.au” domain names. Afilias Australia has now mapped all of the technical changes required and modified the test environment in which registrars evaluate their own software to ensure they are ready when second level names become available. The updated Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) environment went live on 1st September 2019, right on schedule.

What does OT&E ‘going live’ mean?

Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) is the testing environment Afilias maintains to enable registrars to test their systems in advance of a technical change going into production. Now that testing is live for .au second level registrations, registrars can access new features in advance of the official go live date.

This is a huge step in the development of .au—the last time Afilias made a significant change to its testing environment in .au was in March 2018, in preparation for the migration of 3,153,979 .au domain names. The successful transition occurred on 1st July 2018, earning Afilias and auDA a Guinness World Record title

What kind of testing is being done?

Similar to then, this OT&E environment means that .au registrars are able to test basic second level commands (e.g. creates, deletes and transfers). Each .au registrar has been provided a database that has been pre-seeded with dummy account data. Registrars can now work with this data to ensure all categories within the direct registration application cycle are working correctly.

In addition to these basic commands, registrars can test features that will help protect existing registrants in the Priority Application Period, which will be open for 6 months from launch date. These include the Priority ID Token Retrieval tool for those who hold and want to apply for an existing domain name at the second level and the Decline to Apply function, for those who do not want the matching domain name or wish to withdraw an existing application. 

Looking ahead

Ultimately, OT&E is in place to ensure that the .au namespace remains as reliable and secure as possible, operating to the same global standard that it has been since transition.

It is an exciting time for .au, as we approach our annual registrar summit, which this year will be held in the Barossa Valley. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded industry professionals as the latest plans surrounding .au are unveiled.

Have a question, some feedback or an idea for a future blog post? Email us at blog@afilias.com.au