Network Working Group
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) H. Alvestrand
Request for Comments: 8825 Google
Category: Standards Track November 12, 2017
Expires: May 16, 2018 July 2020
Overview: Real Time Real-Time Protocols for Browser-based Browser-Based Applications
This document gives an overview and context of a protocol suite
intended for use with real-time applications that can be deployed in
browsers - "real time -- "real-time communication on the Web".
It intends to serve as a starting and coordination point to make sure
that (1) all the parts that are needed to achieve this goal are findable,
that (2) the parts that belong in the Internet protocol suite
are fully specified and on the right publication track.
This document is an Applicability Statement - applicability statement -- it does not itself
specify any protocol, but it specifies which other specifications WebRTC
implementations are supposed to follow.
This document is a work item of the RTCWEB working group. follow to be compliant with Web Real-
Time Communication (WebRTC).
Status of This Memo
This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.
Internet-Drafts are working documents an Internet Standards Track document.
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(IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute
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Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid the IETF community. It has
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Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on
Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of six months RFC 7841.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
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This Internet-Draft will expire on May 16, 2018.
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Table of Contents
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2. Principles and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.1. Goals of this document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 This Document
2.2. Relationship between API and protocol . . . . . . . . . . 5 Protocol
2.3. On interoperability Interoperability and innovation . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Innovation
2.4. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
3. Architecture and Functionality groups . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Groups
4. Data transport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Transport
5. Data framing Framing and securing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Securing
6. Data formats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Formats
7. Connection management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Management
8. Presentation and control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Control
9. Local system support functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 System Support Functions
10. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
11. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
12. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
13. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
12.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
12.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Appendix A. Change log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.1. Changes from draft-alvestrand-dispatch-rtcweb-datagram-00
to -01 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.2. Changes from draft-alvestrand-dispatch-01 to draft-
alvestrand-rtcweb-overview-00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
A.3. Changes from draft-alvestrand-rtcweb-00 to -01 . . . . . 20
A.4. Changes from draft-alvestrand-rtcweb-overview-01 to
draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview-00 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
A.5. Changes from -00 to -01 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview . . 21
A.6. Changes from -01 to -02 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview . . 21
A.7. Changes from -02 to -03 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview . . 21
A.8. Changes from -03 to -04 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview . . 22
A.9. Changes from -04 to -05 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview . . 22
A.10. Changes from -05 to -06 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.11. Changes from -06 to -07 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.12. Changes from -07 to -08 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.13. Changes from -08 to -09 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.14. Changes from -09 to -10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
A.15. Changes from -10 to -11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.16. Changes from -11 to -12 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.17. Changes from -12 to -13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.18. Changes from -13 to -14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.19. Changes from -14 to -15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.20. Changes from -15 to -16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
A.21. Changes from -16 to -17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
A.22. Changes from -17 to -18 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
A.23. Changes from -18 to -19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
The Internet was, from very early in its lifetime, considered a
possible vehicle for the deployment of real-time, interactive
applications - -- with the most easily imaginable being audio
conversations (aka "Internet telephony") and video conferencing.
The first attempts to build this such applications were dependent on
special networks, special hardware hardware, and custom-built software, often
at very high prices or at of low quality, placing great demands on the
As the available bandwidth has increased, and as processors and other
hardware has have become ever faster, the barriers to participation have
decreased, and it has become possible to deliver a satisfactory
experience on commonly available computing hardware.
Still, there are a number of barriers to the ability to communicate
universally - -- one of these is that there is, as of yet, no single
set of communication protocols that all agree should be made
available for communication; another is the sheer lack of universal
identification systems (such as is served by telephone numbers or
email addresses in other communications systems).
Development of The "The Universal Solution Solution" has, however, proved hard.
The last few years have also seen a new platform rise for deployment
of services: The the browser-embedded application, or "Web "web application".
It turns out that as long as the browser platform has the necessary
interfaces, it is possible to deliver almost any kind of service
Traditionally, these interfaces have been delivered by plugins, which
had to be downloaded and installed separately from the browser; in
the development of HTML5, HTML5 [HTML5], application developers see much
promise in the possibility of making those interfaces available in a
standardized way within the browser.
This memo describes a set of building blocks that (1) can be made
(2) together form a sufficient set of functions to allow the use of
interactive audio and video in applications that communicate directly
between browsers across the Internet. The resulting protocol suite
is intended to enable all the applications that are described as
required scenarios in the use cases WebRTC "use cases" document [RFC7478].
Other efforts, efforts -- for instance instance, the W3C Web Real-Time Communications,
Web Applications Security, and Device Devices and Sensor working groups, Sensors Working Groups --
focus on making standardized APIs and interfaces available, within or
alongside the HTML5 effort, for those functions. This memo
concentrates on specifying the protocols and subprotocols that are
needed to specify the interactions over the network.
Operators should note that deployment of WebRTC will result in a
change in the nature of signaling for real time real-time media on the network, network
and may result in a shift in the kinds of devices used to create and
consume such media. In the case of signaling, WebRTC session setup
will typically occur over TLS-secured web technologies using
application-specific protocols. Operational techniques that involve
inserting network elements to interpret SDP -- either through
endpoint cooperation the Session Description
Protocol (SDP) -- through either (1) the endpoint asking the network
for a SIP server [RFC3361] or through (2) the transparent insertion of SIP
Application Level Layer Gateways (ALGs) -- will not work with such
signaling. In the case of networks using cooperative endpoints, the
approaches defined in [RFC8155] may serve as a suitable replacement
for [RFC3361]. The increase in browser-based communications may also
lead to a shift away from dedicated real-time-communications
hardware, such as SIP desk phones. This will diminish the efficacy
of operational techniques that place dedicated real-time devices on
their own network segment, address range, or VLAN for purposes such
as applying traffic filtering and QoS. Applying the markings
described in [I-D.ietf-tsvwg-rtcweb-qos] [RFC8837] may be appropriate replacements for such
While this document formally relies on [RFC8445], at the time of its
publication, the majority of WebRTC implementations support the
version of Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE) that is
described in [RFC5245] and use a pre-standard version of the Trickle
ICE mechanism described in [RFC8838]. The "ice2" attribute defined
in [RFC8445] can be used to detect the version in use by a remote
endpoint and to provide a smooth transition from the older
specification to the newer one.
This memo uses the term "WebRTC" (note the case used) to refer to the
overall effort consisting of both IETF and W3C efforts.
2. Principles and Terminology
2.1. Goals of this document This Document
The goal of the WebRTC protocol specification is to specify a set of
protocols that, if all are implemented, will allow an implementation
to communicate with another implementation using audio, video video, and
data sent along the most direct possible path between the
This document is intended to serve as the roadmap to the WebRTC
specifications. It defines terms used by other parts of the WebRTC
protocol specifications, lists references to other specifications
that don't need further elaboration in the WebRTC context, and gives
pointers to other documents that form part of the WebRTC suite.
By reading this document and the documents it refers to, it should be
possible to have all information needed to implement a WebRTC WebRTC-
2.2. Relationship between API and protocol Protocol
The total WebRTC effort consists of two major parts, each consisting
of multiple documents:
* A protocol specification, done in the IETF
[W3C.WD-webrtc-20120209][W3C.WD-mediacapture-streams-20120628] [W3C.WD-webrtc] [W3C.WD-mediacapture-streams]
Together, these two specifications aim to provide an environment
its user, is able to set up communication using audio, video video, and
auxiliary data, as long as the browser supports this specification. these specifications.
The browser environment does not constrain the types of application
in which this functionality can be used.
The protocol specification does not assume that all implementations
implement this API; it is not intended to be necessary for
interoperation to know whether the entity one is communicating with
is a browser or another device implementing this the protocol
The goal of cooperation between the protocol specification and the
API specification is that for all options and features of the
protocol specification, it should be clear which API calls to make to
exercise that option or feature; similarly, for any sequence of API
calls, it should be clear which protocol options and features will be
invoked. Both are subject to constraints of the implementation, of
The following terms are used across the documents specifying the
WebRTC suite, in with the specific meanings given here. Not all terms
are used in this document. Other terms are used in per their commonly
Agent: Undefined term. See "SDP Agent" and "ICE Agent".
Application Programming Interface (API): A specification of a set of
calls and events, usually tied to a programming language or an
abstract formal specification such as WebIDL, with its defined
Browser: Used synonymously with "Interactive User Agent" "interactive user agent" as defined
in the HTML specification [W3C.WD-html5-20110525]. [HTML5]. See also the "WebRTC Browser" (aka "WebRTC User Agent".
Agent") definition below.
Data Channel: An abstraction that allows data to be sent between
WebRTC endpoints in the form of messages. Two endpoints can have
multiple data channels between them.
ICE Agent: An implementation of the Interactive Connectivity
Establishment (ICE) [RFC5245] protocol. protocol [RFC8445]. An ICE Agent may also be
an SDP Agent, but there exist ICE Agents that do not use SDP (for
instance, those that use Jingle [XEP-0166]).
Interactive: Communication between multiple parties, where the
expectation is that an action from one party can cause a reaction
by another party, and the reaction can be observed by the first
party, with where the total time required for the action/reaction/
observation is on the order of no more than hundreds of
Media: Audio and video content. Not to be confused with
"transmission media" such as wires.
Media Path: The path that media data follows from one WebRTC
endpoint to another.
Protocol: A specification of a set of data units, their
representation, and rules for their transmission, with their
defined semantics. A protocol is usually thought of as going
Real-Time Media: Media where the generation of content and display of content
are intended to occur closely together in time (on the order of no
more than hundreds of milliseconds). Real-time media can be used
to support interactive communication.
SDP Agent: The protocol implementation involved in the Session
Description Protocol (SDP) offer/answer exchange, as defined in
[RFC3264], Section 3.
Signaling: Communication that happens in order to establish, manage manage,
and control media paths and data paths.
Signaling Path: The communication channels used between entities
participating in signaling to transfer signaling. There may be
more entities in the signaling path than in the media path.
WebRTC Browser: Browser (also called a WebRTC "WebRTC User Agent Agent" or WebRTC UA) "WebRTC UA"):
Something that conforms to both the protocol specification and the
WebRTC non-Browser: Non-Browser: Something that conforms to the protocol
This can also be called a "WebRTC device" or "WebRTC native
WebRTC Endpoint: Either a WebRTC browser or a WebRTC non-browser.
It conforms to the protocol specification.
WebRTC-Compatible Endpoint: An endpoint that is able to successfully
communicate with a WebRTC endpoint, endpoint but may fail to meet some
requirements of a WebRTC endpoint. This may limit where in the
network such an endpoint can be attached, attached or may limit the security
guarantees that it offers to others. It is not constrained by
this specification; when it is mentioned at all, it is to note the
implications on WebRTC-compatible endpoints of the requirements
placed on WebRTC endpoints.
WebRTC Gateway: A WebRTC-compatible endpoint that mediates media
traffic to non-WebRTC entities.
All WebRTC browsers are WebRTC endpoints, so any requirement on a
WebRTC endpoint also applies to a WebRTC browser.
A WebRTC non-browser may be capable of hosting applications in a
applications, typically by offering APIs in other languages. For
instance, it may be implemented as a library that offers a C++ API
intended to be loaded into applications. In this case, similar security
however, since such APIs are not defined or referenced here, this
document cannot give any specific rules for those interfaces.
WebRTC gateways are described in a separate document,
2.3. On interoperability Interoperability and innovation Innovation
The "Mission statement of for the IETF" [RFC3935] states that "The
benefit of a standard to the Internet is in interoperability - that
multiple products implementing a standard are able to work together
in order to deliver valuable functions to the Internet's users."
Communication on the Internet frequently occurs in two phases:
* Two parties communicate, through some mechanism, what
functionality they both are both able to support
* They use that shared communicative functionality to communicate, communicate
or, failing to find anything in common, give up on communication.
There are often many choices that can be made for communicative
functionality; the history of the Internet is rife with the proposal,
standardization, implementation, and success or failure of many types
of options, in all sorts of protocols.
The goal of having a mandatory to implement mandatory-to-implement function set is to
prevent negotiation failure, not to preempt or prevent negotiation.
The presence of a mandatory to implement mandatory-to-implement function set serves as a
strong changer of the marketplace of deployment - in that it gives a
guarantee that, that you can communicate successfully as long as (1) you
conform to a specification, specification and (2) the other party is willing to
accept communication at the base level of that specification, you can communicate successfully. specification.
The alternative, that is alternative (that is, not having no mandatory to implement, a mandatory-to-implement
function) does not mean that you cannot communicate, communicate; it merely means
that in order to be part of the communications partnership, you have
to implement the standard "and then some". The "and then some" is
usually called a profile of some sort; in the version most
antithetical to the Internet ethos, that "and then some" consists of
having to use a specific vendor's product only.
The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
"OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].
BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
capitals, as shown here.
3. Architecture and Functionality groups Groups
For browser-based applications, the model for real-time support does
not assume that the browser will contain all the functions needed for
an application such as a telephone or a video conference. The vision
is that the browser will have the functions needed for a Web web
application, working in conjunction with its backend servers, to
implement these functions.
This means that two vital interfaces need specification: The the
protocols that browsers use to talk to each other, without any
application to take advantage of the browser's functionality.
| | Protocols
| Servers |--------->
Other ^ ^ RTC
APIs | | APIs
| | | |
| | Browser || On-the-wire
| Browser | RTC || Protocols
| | Function|----------->
| | ||
| | ||
Native OS Services
Figure 1: Browser Model
application through browser APIs.
As for all protocol and API specifications, there is no restriction
that the protocols can only be used to talk to another browser; since
they are fully specified, any endpoint that implements the protocols
faithfully should be able to interoperate with the application
running in the browser.
A commonly imagined model of deployment is the one depicted below.
| Web | | Web |
| | Signaling | |
| |-------------| |------------------| |
| Server | path Signaling Path | Server |
| | | |
/ \ Application-defined
/ \ over
/ \ HTTPS/WebSockets
/ Application-defined over \
/ HTTPS/WebSockets \
| | | |
| | | |
| Browser | ------------------------- | |--------------------------------| Browser |
| | Media path Path | |
| | | |
Figure 2: Browser RTC Trapezoid
In this drawing, the critical part to note is that the media path
("low path") goes directly between the browsers, so it has to be
conformant to the specifications of the WebRTC protocol suite; the
signaling path ("high path") goes via servers that can modify,
translate, or manipulate the signals as needed.
If the two Web web servers are operated by different entities, the inter-
server signaling mechanism needs to be agreed upon, either by either
standardization or by other means of agreement. Existing protocols
(e.g., SIP [RFC3261] or XMPP the Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP) [RFC6120]) could be used between servers, while
either a standards-based or proprietary protocol could be used
between the browser and the web server.
For example, if both operators' servers implement SIP, SIP could be
used for communication between servers, along with either a
standardized signaling mechanism (e.g. (e.g., SIP over WebSockets) or a
proprietary signaling mechanism used between the application running
in the browser and the web server. Similarly, if both operators'
servers implement Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), XMPP, XMPP could be used for communication between
XMPP servers, with either a standardized signaling mechanism (e.g. (e.g.,
XMPP over WebSockets or BOSH [XEP-0124] Bidirectional-streams Over Synchronous HTTP
(BOSH) [XEP-0124]) or a proprietary signaling mechanism used between
the application running in the browser and the web server.
The choice of protocols for client-server and inter-server
and the definition of the translation between them, is are outside the
scope of the WebRTC protocol suite described in the this document.
The functionality groups that are needed in the browser can be
specified, more or less from the bottom up, as:
Data transport: such as TCP, UDP For example, TCP and UDP, and the means to securely
set up connections between entities, as well as the functions for
deciding when to send data: congestion management, bandwidth
estimation, and so on.
Data framing: RTP, SCTP, the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP),
DTLS, and other data formats that serve as containers, and their
functions for data confidentiality and integrity.
Data formats: Codec specifications, format specifications specifications, and
functionality specifications for the data passed between systems.
Audio and video codecs, as well as formats for data and document
sharing, belong in this category. In order to make use of data
formats, a way to describe them, them (e.g., a session description, description) is
Connection management: Setting up connections, For example, setting up connections, agreeing
on data formats, changing data formats during the duration of a call;
call. SDP, SIP, and Jingle/XMPP belong in this category.
Presentation and control: What needs to happen in order to ensure
that interactions behave in a non-surprising an unsurprising manner. This can
include floor control, screen layout, voice activated voice-activated image
switching, and other such functions - functions, where part of the system
requires cooperation between parties. XCON and Cisco/
Tandberg's TIP Centralized Conferencing
(XCON) [RFC6501] and Cisco/Tandberg's Telepresence
Interoperability Protocol (TIP) were some attempts at specifying
this kind of functionality; many applications have been built
without standardized interfaces to these functions.
Local system support functions: These are things Functions that need not be specified
uniformly, because each participant may choose to do implement these in a way of the participant's choosing, functions
as they choose, without affecting the bits on the wire in a way
that others have to be cognizant of. Examples in this category
include echo cancellation (some forms of it), local authentication
and authorization mechanisms, OS access
control control, and the ability
to do local recording of conversations.
Within each functionality group, it is important to preserve both
freedom to innovate and the ability for global communication.
Freedom to innovate is helped by doing the specification in terms of
interfaces, not implementation; any implementation able to
communicate according to the interfaces is a valid implementation.
The ability to communicate globally is helped both by both (1) having core
specifications be unencumbered by IPR issues and by (2) having the
formats and protocols be fully enough specified to allow for
One can think of the three first three groups as forming a "media transport
infrastructure" and of the three last three groups as forming a "media
service". In many contexts, it makes sense to use a common
specification for the media transport infrastructure, which can be
embedded in browsers and accessed using standard interfaces, and "let
a thousand flowers bloom" in the "media service" layer; to achieve
interoperable services, however, at least the first five of the six
groups need to be specified.
4. Data transport Transport
Data transport refers to the sending and receiving of data over the
network interfaces, the choice of network-layer addresses at each end
of the communication, and the interaction with any intermediate
entities that handle the data, data but do not modify it (such as TURN Traversal
Using Relays around NAT (TURN) relays).
It includes necessary functions for congestion control,
retransmission, and in-order delivery.
WebRTC endpoints MUST implement the transport protocols described in
5. Data framing Framing and securing Securing
The format for media transport is RTP [RFC3550]. Implementation of
the Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP) [RFC3711] is REQUIRED
for all implementations.
The detailed considerations for usage of functions from RTP and SRTP
are given in [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-rtp-usage]. [RFC8834]. The security considerations for the WebRTC
use case are provided in
[I-D.ietf-rtcweb-security], [RFC8826], and the resulting security
functions are described in [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-security-arch]. [RFC8827].
Considerations for the transfer of data that is not in RTP format is are
described in [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-data-channel], [RFC8831], and a supporting protocol for establishing
individual data channels is described in
[I-D.ietf-rtcweb-data-protocol]. [RFC8832]. WebRTC endpoints
MUST implement these two specifications.
WebRTC endpoints MUST implement [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-rtp-usage],
[I-D.ietf-rtcweb-security], [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-security-arch], [RFC8834], [RFC8826], [RFC8827], and
the requirements they include.
6. Data formats Formats
The intent of this specification is to allow each communications
event to use the data formats that are best suited for that
particular instance, where a format is supported by both sides of the
connection. However, a minimum standard is greatly helpful in order
to ensure that communication can be achieved. This document
specifies a minimum baseline that will be supported by all
implementations of this specification, specification and leaves further codecs to be
included at the will of the implementor. implementer.
WebRTC endpoints that support audio and/or video MUST implement the
codecs and profiles required in [RFC7874] and [RFC7742].
7. Connection management Management
The methods, mechanisms mechanisms, and requirements for setting up, negotiating
negotiating, and tearing down connections is comprise a large subject,
and one where it is desirable to have both interoperability and
freedom to innovate.
The following principles apply:
1. The WebRTC media negotiations will be capable of representing the
same SDP offer/answer semantics [RFC3264] that are used in SIP,
in such a way that it is possible to build a signaling gateway
between SIP and the WebRTC media negotiation.
2. It will be possible to gateway between legacy SIP devices that
support ICE and appropriate RTP / SDP RTP/SDP mechanisms, codecs codecs, and
security mechanisms without using a media gateway. A signaling
gateway to convert between the signaling on the web side to and the
SIP signaling may be needed.
3. When an SDP for a new codec is specified, no other
standardization should be required for it to be possible to use
that codec in the web browsers. Adding new codecs which that might
have new SDP parameters should not change the APIs between the
support the new codecs, old applications written before the
codecs were specified should automatically be able to use the new
The particular choices made for WebRTC, and their implications for
the API offered by a browser implementing WebRTC, are described in
WebRTC browsers MUST implement [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-jsep]. [RFC8829].
WebRTC endpoints MUST implement the those functions described in that
[RFC8829] that relate to the network layer (e.g. Bundle
[I-D.ietf-mmusic-sdp-bundle-negotiation], RTCP-mux [RFC5761] (e.g., BUNDLE [RFC8843],
"rtcp-mux" [RFC5761], and Trickle ICE [I-D.ietf-ice-trickle]), [RFC8838]), but these endpoints
do not need to support the API functionality described there. in [RFC8829].
8. Presentation and control Control
The most important part of control is the user's users' control over the
browser's interaction with input/output devices and communications
channels. It is important that the user users have some way of figuring
out where his their audio, video video, or texting is being sent, sent; for what
purported reason, reason; and what guarantees are made by the parties that
form part of this control channel. This is largely a local function
between the browser, the underlying operating system system, and the user
interface; this is specified in the peer connection API
[W3C.WD-webrtc] and the media capture API
WebRTC browsers MUST implement these two specifications.
9. Local system support functions System Support Functions
These functions are characterized by the fact that the quality of these
implementation strongly influence influences the user experience, but the exact
algorithm does not need coordination. In some cases (for instance instance,
echo cancellation, as described below), the overall system definition
may need to specify that the overall system needs to have some
characteristics for which these facilities are useful, without
requiring them to be implemented a certain way.
Local functions include echo cancellation, cancellation; volume control, control; camera
management, including focus, zoom, and pan/tilt controls (if available),
available); and more.
One would want to see certain parts of the system conform to certain
properties; for instance:
* Echo cancellation should be good enough to achieve the suppression
of acoustical feedback loops below a perceptually noticeable
* Privacy concerns MUST be satisfied; for instance, if remote
control of a camera is offered, the APIs should be available to
let the local participant figure out who's controlling the camera, camera
and possibly decide to revoke the permission for camera usage.
* Automatic gain control, Gain Control (AGC), if present, should normalize a
speaking voice into a reasonable dB range.
The requirements on WebRTC systems with regard to audio processing
are found in [RFC7874] [RFC7874], and that document includes more guidance
about echo cancellation and AGC; the proposed API APIs for control of local
devices are found in [W3C.WD-mediacapture-streams-20120628]. [W3C.WD-mediacapture-streams].
WebRTC endpoints MUST implement the processing functions in
[RFC7874]. (Together with the requirement in Section 6, this means
that WebRTC endpoints MUST implement the whole document.)
10. IANA Considerations
This document makes has no request of IANA.
Note to RFC Editor: this section may be removed on publication as an
RFC. IANA actions.
11. Security Considerations
Security of the web-enabled real time real-time communications comes in several
Security of the components: The browsers, and other servers
involved. The most target-rich environment here is probably the
browser; the aim here should be that the introduction of these
components introduces no additional vulnerability.
Security of the communication channels: It should be easy for a
participants to reassure himself themselves of the security of his their
communication - -- by verifying the crypto parameters of the links he
that they participate in, and to get reassurances from the other
parties to the communication that they those parties promise that
appropriate measures are taken.
Security of the partners' identity: verifying identities: Verifying that the
participants are who they say they are (when positive
identification is appropriate), appropriate) or that their identity identities cannot be
uncovered (when anonymity is a goal of the application).
The security analysis, and the requirements derived from that
analysis, is are contained in [I-D.ietf-rtcweb-security]. [RFC8826].
It is also important to read the security sections of
[W3C.WD-mediacapture-streams] and [W3C.WD-webrtc-20120209]. [W3C.WD-webrtc].
The number of people who have taken part in the discussions
surrounding this draft are too numerous to list, or even to identify.
The ones below have made special, identifiable contributions; this
does not mean that others' contributions are less important.
Thanks to Cary Bran, Cullen Jennings, Colin Perkins, Magnus
Westerlund and Joerg Ott, who offered technical contributions on
various versions of the draft.
Thanks to Jonathan Rosenberg, Matthew Kaufman and others at Skype for
the ASCII drawings in section 1.
Thanks to Alissa Cooper, Bjoern Hoehrmann, Colin Perkins, Colton
Shields, Eric Rescorla, Heath Matlock, Henry Sinnreich, Justin
Uberti, Keith Drage, Magnus Westerlund, Olle E. Johansson, Sean
Turner and Simon Leinen for document review.
12.1. Normative References
Jesup, R., Loreto, S., and M. Tuexen, "WebRTC Data
Channels", draft-ietf-rtcweb-data-channel-13 (work in
progress), January 2015.
Jesup, R., Loreto, S., and M. Tuexen, "WebRTC Data Channel
Establishment Protocol", draft-ietf-rtcweb-data-
protocol-09 (work in progress), January 2015.
Session Establishment Protocol", draft-ietf-rtcweb-jsep-24
(work in progress), October 2017.
Perkins, C., Westerlund, M., and J. Ott, "Web Real-Time
Communication (WebRTC): Media Transport and Use of RTP",
draft-ietf-rtcweb-rtp-usage-26 (work in progress), March
Rescorla, E., "Security Considerations for WebRTC", draft-
ietf-rtcweb-security-09 (work in progress), October 2017.
Rescorla, E., "WebRTC Security Architecture", draft-ietf-
rtcweb-security-arch-13 (work in progress), October 2017.
Alvestrand, H., "Transports for WebRTC", draft-ietf-
rtcweb-transports-17 (work in progress), October 2016.
[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
[RFC3264] Rosenberg, J. and H. Schulzrinne, "An Offer/Answer Model
with Session Description Protocol (SDP)", RFC 3264,
DOI 10.17487/RFC3264, June 2002,
[RFC3550] Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V.
Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time
Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, DOI 10.17487/RFC3550,
July 2003, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3550>.
[RFC3711] Baugher, M., McGrew, D., Naslund, M., Carrara, E., and K.
Norrman, "The Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP)",
RFC 3711, DOI 10.17487/RFC3711, March 2004,
[RFC5245] Rosenberg, J., "Interactive Connectivity Establishment
(ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT)
Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols", RFC 5245,
DOI 10.17487/RFC5245, April 2010,
[RFC7742] Roach, A., A.B., "WebRTC Video Processing and Codec
Requirements", RFC 7742, DOI 10.17487/RFC7742, March 2016,
[RFC7874] Valin, JM. and C. Bran, "WebRTC Audio Codec and Processing
Requirements", RFC 7874, DOI 10.17487/RFC7874, May 2016,
[RFC8174] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.
[RFC8445] Keranen, A., Holmberg, C., and J. Rosenberg, "Interactive
Connectivity Establishment (ICE): A Protocol for Network
Address Translator (NAT) Traversal", RFC 8445,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8445, July 2018,
[RFC8826] Rescorla, E., "Security Considerations for WebRTC",
RFC 8826, DOI 10.17487/RFC8826, July 2020,
[RFC8827] Rescorla, E., "WebRTC Security Architecture", RFC 8827,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8827, May 2020,
[RFC8829] Uberti, J., Jennings, C., and E. Rescorla, Ed.,
RFC 8829, DOI 10.17487/RFC8829, July 2020,
[RFC8831] Jesup, R., Loreto, S., and M. Tüxen, "WebRTC Data
Channels", RFC 8831, DOI 10.17487/RFC8831, July 2020,
[RFC8832] Jesup, R., Loreto, S., and M. Tüxen, "WebRTC Data Channel
Establishment Protocol", RFC 8832, DOI 10.17487/RFC8832,
July 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8832>.
[RFC8834] Perkins, C., Westerlund, M., and J. Ott, "Media Transport
and A. Use of RTP in WebRTC", RFC 8834, DOI 10.17487/RFC8834,
July 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8834>.
[RFC8835] Alvestrand, H., "Transports for WebRTC", RFC 8835,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8835, July 2020,
Burnett, D., Bergkvist, A., Jennings, C., Narayanan, A.,
Aboba, B., Bruaroey, J-I., and H. Boström, "Media Capture
World Wide Web Consortium WD WD-mediacapture-streams-
20120628, June 2012, <http://www.w3.org/TR/2012/
Bergkvist, A., Burnett, D., W3C Candidate Recommendation, 2 July 2019,
Jennings, C., Boström, H., and A.
Narayanan, J-I. Bruaroey, "WebRTC 1.0:
Real-time Communication Between Browsers", World Wide Web Consortium WD WD-webrtc-
20120209, February 2012,
13.2. W3C Candidate
Recommendation, 13 December 2019,
12.2. Informative References
Ivov, E., Rescorla, E., Uberti,
[HTML5] WHATWG, "HTML - Living Standard", July 2020,
[RFC3261] Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
A., Peterson, J., and P. Saint-Andre,
"Trickle ICE: Incremental Provisioning of Candidates for
the Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE)
Protocol", draft-ietf-ice-trickle-14 (work in progress),
Holmberg, C., Alvestrand, H., and C. Jennings,
"Negotiating Media Multiplexing Using the Session
Description Protocol (SDP)", draft-ietf-mmusic-sdp-bundle-
negotiation-39 (work in progress), August 2017.
Alvestrand, H. and U. Rauschenbach, "WebRTC Gateways",
draft-ietf-rtcweb-gateways-02 (work in progress), January
Jones, P., Dhesikan, S., Jennings, C., and D. Druta, "DSCP
Packet Markings for WebRTC QoS", draft-ietf-tsvwg-rtcweb-
qos-18 (work in progress), August 2016.
[RFC3261] Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston,
A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E.
Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261,
DOI 10.17487/RFC3261, June 2002,
[RFC3361] Schulzrinne, H., "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
(DHCP-for-IPv4) Option for Session Initiation Protocol
(SIP) Servers", RFC 3361, DOI 10.17487/RFC3361, August
[RFC3935] Alvestrand, H., "A Mission Statement for the IETF",
BCP 95, RFC 3935, DOI 10.17487/RFC3935, October 2004,
[RFC5245] Rosenberg, J., "Interactive Connectivity Establishment
(ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT)
Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols", RFC 5245,
DOI 10.17487/RFC5245, April 2010,
[RFC5761] Perkins, C. and M. Westerlund, "Multiplexing RTP Data and
Control Packets on a Single Port", RFC 5761,
DOI 10.17487/RFC5761, April 2010,
[RFC6120] Saint-Andre, P., "Extensible Messaging and Presence
Protocol (XMPP): Core", RFC 6120, DOI 10.17487/RFC6120,
March 2011, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6120>.
[RFC6501] Novo, O., Camarillo, G., Morgan, D., and J. Urpalainen,
"Conference Information Data Model for Centralized
Conferencing (XCON)", RFC 6501, DOI 10.17487/RFC6501,
March 2012, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6501>.
[RFC7478] Holmberg, C., Hakansson, S., and G. Eriksson, "Web Real-
Time Communication Use Cases and Requirements", RFC 7478,
DOI 10.17487/RFC7478, March 2015,
[RFC8155] Patil, P., Reddy, T., and D. Wing, "Traversal Using Relays
around NAT (TURN) Server Auto Discovery", RFC 8155,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8155, April 2017,
Hickson, I., "HTML5", World Wide Web Consortium LastCall
WD-html5-20110525, May 2011,
[RFC8837] Jones, P., Dhesikan, S., Jennings, C., and D. Druta,
"Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) Packet Markings
for WebRTC QoS", RFC 8837, DOI 10.17487/RFC8837, July
[RFC8838] Ivov, E., Uberti, J., and P. Saint-Andre, "Trickle ICE:
Incremental Provisioning of Candidates for the Interactive
Connectivity Establishment (ICE) Protocol", RFC 8838,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8838, July 2020,
[RFC8843] Holmberg, C., Alvestrand, H., and C. Jennings,
"Negotiating Media Multiplexing Using the Session
Description Protocol (SDP)", RFC 8843,
DOI 10.17487/RFC8843, July 2020,
Alvestrand, H. and U. Rauschenbach, "WebRTC Gateways",
Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-rtcweb-
gateways-02, 21 January 2016,
[XEP-0124] Paterson, I., Smith, D., Saint-Andre, P., Moffitt, J.,
Stout, L., and W. Tilanus, "BOSH", "Bidirectional-streams Over
Synchronous HTTP (BOSH)", XSF XEP 0124, November
[XEP-0166] Ludwig, S., Beda, J., Saint-Andre, P., McQueen, R., Egan,
S., and J. Hildebrand, "Jingle", XSF XEP 0166, June 2007.
Appendix A. Change log
This section may be deleted by the RFC Editor when preparing for
A.1. Changes from draft-alvestrand-dispatch-rtcweb-datagram-00 to -01
Added section "On interoperability and innovation"
Added data confidentiality and integrity to the "data framing" layer
Added congestion management requirements 2007,
The number of people who have taken part in the "data transport"
Changed need for non-media data from "question: do we need this?" discussions
surrounding this document are too numerous to
"Open issue: How do we do this?"
Strengthened disclaimer that list, or even to
identify. The people listed codecs are placeholders, below have made special, identifiable
contributions; this does not
More details on why the "local system support functions" section is
A.2. Changes from draft-alvestrand-dispatch-01 mean that others' contributions are less
Thanks to draft-alvestrand-
Added section on "Relationship between API Cary Bran, Cullen Jennings, Colin Perkins, Magnus
Westerlund, and protocol"
Added terminology section
Mentioned congestion management as part of the "data transport" layer
in the layer list
A.3. Changes from draft-alvestrand-rtcweb-00 to -01
Removed most Jörg Ott, who offered technical content, and replaced with pointers to drafts
as requested and identified by the RTCWEB WG chairs.
Added content to acknowledgments section.
Added change log.
A.4. Changes from draft-alvestrand-rtcweb-overview-01 contributions to draft-ietf-
various draft name and document date.
Removed unused references
A.5. Changes from -00 to -01 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview
Added architecture figures to section 2.
Changed the description of "echo cancellation" under "local system
Added a few more definitions.
A.6. Changes from -01 to -02 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview
Added pointers to use cases, security and rtp-usage drafts (now WG
Changed description of SRTP from mandatory-to-use to mandatory-to-
Added the "3 principles of negotiation" to the connection management
Added an explicit statement that ICE is required for both NAT and
A.7. Changes from -02 to -03 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview
Added references to a number of new drafts.
Expanded the description text under the "trapezoid" drawing with some
more text discussed on the list.
Changed the "Connection management" sentence from "will be done using
SDP offer/answer" to "will be capable versions of representing SDP offer/
answer" - this seems more consistent with JSEP.
Added "security mechanisms" to the things a non-gatewayed SIP devices
must support in order to not need a media gateway.
Added a definition for "browser".
A.8. Changes from -03 to -04 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview
Made introduction more normative.
Several wording changes in response to review comments from EKR
Added an appendix to hold references and notes that are not yet in a
A.9. Changes from -04 to -05 of draft-ietf-rtcweb-overview
Minor grammatical fixes. This is mainly a "keepalive" refresh.
A.10. Changes from -05 to -06
Clarifications in response to Last Call review comments. Inserted
reference to draft-ietf-rtcweb-audio.
A.11. Changes from -06 to -07
Added a reference to the "unified plan" draft, and updated some
Otherwise, it's a "keepalive" draft.
A.12. Changes from -07 to -08
Removed the appendix that detailed transports, and replaced it with a
reference to draft-ietf-rtcweb-transports. Removed now-unused
A.13. Changes from -08 to -09
Added text to the Abstract indicating that the intended status is an
A.14. Changes from -09 to -10
Defined "WebRTC Browser" and "WebRTC device" as things that do, or
don't, conform to the API.
Updated reference to data-protocol draft
Updated data formats to reference -rtcweb-audio- and not the expired
Deleted references to -unified-plan
Deleted reference to -generic-idp (draft expired)
Added notes on which referenced documents WebRTC browsers or devices
MUST conform to.
Added pointer to the security section of the API drafts.
A.15. Changes from -10 to -11
Added "WebRTC Gateway" as a third class of device, and referenced the
doc describing them.
Made a number of text clarifications in response to document reviews.
A.16. Changes from -11 to -12
Refined entity definitions
Thanks to define "WebRTC endpoint" Jonathan Rosenberg, Matthew Kaufman, and "WebRTC-
Changed remaining usage of the term "RTCWEB" to "WebRTC", including
in the page header.
A.17. Changes from -12 to -13
Changed "WebRTC device" to be "WebRTC non-browser", per decision others at
IETF 91. This led to the need for "WebRTC endpoint" as the common
for both, and the usage of that term in the rest of the
Referenced draft-ietf-rtcweb-video for video codecs to support.
A.18. Changes from -13 to -14
None. This is a "keepalive" update.
A.19. Changes from -14 to -15
Changed "gateways" reference to point to the WG document.
A.20. Changes from -15 to -16
None. This is a "keepalive" publication.
A.21. Changes from -16 Section 3.
Thanks to -17
Addressed review comments by Alissa Cooper, Björn Höhrmann, Colin Perkins, Colton
Shields, Eric Rescorla, Heath Matlock, Henry Sinnreich, Justin
Uberti, Keith Drage, Magnus Westerlund, Olle E. Johansson and Magnus Westerlund
A.22. Changes from -17 to -18
Addressed review comments from Johansson, Sean Turner
Turner, and Alissa Cooper
A.23. Changes from -18 to -19
A number of grammatical issues were fixed.
Added note on operational impact of WebRTC.
Unified all definitions into the definitions list.
Added a reference Simon Leinen for BOSH.
Changed ICE reference from 5245bis to RFC 5245. document review.
Harald T. Alvestrand
SE-11122 Stockholm 11122