Configuring a service such as mail or web hosting to work with a domain name is a complex and difficult task for users. This is because most services require changes to the DNS settings associated with a domain, and users don’t understand DNS.

Domain Connect is a protocol that makes this easier for the user, and more consistent across providers.

The protocol involves two parties.  DNS Providers who run DNS for a domain, and Service Providers who provide the services and applications attached to domains.

A typical use case is as follows.

Often a customer will try to configure a service at a Service Provider by entering their domain name.  The Service Provider then uses a number of techniques to discover the DNS Provider. This might include DNS queries to figure out the registrar and/or the nameserver running DNS.

Once the Service Provider discovers the DNS Provider, they typically give the customer instructions for proper configuration of DNS.  This might include help text, screen shots, or even links to the appropriate tools.

This often presents a number of things to the user that they don’t understand. DNS record types, TTLs, HostNames, etc. are all confusing to many users.  And the instructions authored by the Service Provider are often out of date, further confusing the issue.

Domain Connect was created by GoDaddy and turned into an open standard to solve this problem. By implementing a standard interaction between Service Providers and DNS Providers, the customer is isolated from the details of DNS settings and complexity.

With a standard protocol between all Service Providers and DNS Providers, it eliminates the need for each relationship between a Service Provider and DNS Provider to be customized.

For more information on how and why this protocol was created, visit the GoDaddy engineering blog.