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The abstract syntax notation, ASN.1, is a data-definition language that provides a syntax for specifying Application layer protocols and information in open systems. The basic unit in ASN.1 is the module. It consists of types and value definitions that are used, respectively, to define and name new types and values. Syntax for built-in simple and structured types is specified and exemplified. Tagging enables the receiver to distinguish and correctly decode values from various data types. Additional features of the notation allow specification of subtypes, handling of recursion, and defining new types and values with macros.

In the next chapter, we use ASN.1 to define one of the Application Layer's common service elements, ACSE (Association Control Service Element). Also, an example is included of an ASN.1 defined application protocol to check the number of entries in a remote system's print queue.

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Computer Networks and Open Systems
An Application Development Perspective

Lillian N. Cassel
Richard H. Austing

Jones & Bartlett Publisher
ISBN 0-7637-1122-5

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Real World ASN.1 and XML Solutions