|Internet media type|
|Uniform Type Identifier||public.vcard|
|Developed by||Internet Mail Consortium|
|Type of format||electronic business card|
|Container for||contact information|
vCard is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards are often attached to e-mail messages, but can be exchanged in other ways, such as on the World Wide Web. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and even audio clips.
Versitcard was originally proposed in 1995 by the Versit Consortium, which consisted of Apple, AT&T Technologies (later Lucent), IBM and Siemens. In December 1996, ownership of the format was handed over to the Internet Mail Consortium, a trade association for companies with an interest in Internet e-mail. vCard is accompanied by a proposed standard for exchanging data about forthcoming appointments called vCalendar, since superseded by iCalendar; the Internet Mail Consortium has issued a statement that it "hopes that all vCalendar developers take advantage of these new open standards and make their software compatible with both vCalendar 1.0 and iCalendar."
Version 2.1 of the vCard standard is widely supported by e-mail clients. Version 3.0 of the vCard format is an IETF standards-track proposal contained in RFC 2425 and RFC 2426. The vCardDAV working group of the IETF is updating the vCard format. The commonly-used filename extension for vCards is vcf. In RFC 4770, vCard Extensions for Instant Messaging, a new type of entry to hold an IMPP URI is defined, which is "IMPP".
Derivatives and Applications
The hCard microformat, a 1:1 representation of vCard in semantic (X)HTML, allows publishers to embed vCard data in web pages. There are browser extensions such as Operator for Firefox; and there are technologies that convert such hCards into vCards, thus providing interoperability between hCards published on the web, and the aforementioned vCard clients.
An XML vCard format has been defined by the XMPP Standards Foundation and is in use with technologies such as XMPP and Light-Weight Identity. W3C has published a note on RDF-based encoding for vCard).
Sending vCards by Bluetooth is one of the most broadly compatible but inelegant forms of placecasting. Since sending vCards via Bluetooth does not require device pairing, some use the standard to transmit anonymous messages (see bluejacking).
Applications have different implementations of the vCard standard. The Address Book application in Mac OS X and the KDE Kontact application accept any number of contacts in a single vCard file and allow export of any set of contacts, or all contacts, in one vCard file, while Microsoft Outlook only accepts one contact per file. Google Contacts will import and export Mac OS X or similar vCard files.
Example vCard file
The following is an example of a VCard file containing information for one person:
BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:2.1 N:Gump;Forrest FN:Forrest Gump ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Shrimp Man TEL;WORK;VOICE:(111) 555-1212 TEL;HOME;VOICE:(404) 555-1212 ADR;WORK:;;100 Waters Edge;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America LABEL;WORK;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:100 Waters Edge=0D=0ABaytown, LA 30314=0D=0AUnited States of America ADR;HOME:;;42 Plantation St.;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America LABEL;HOME;ENCODING=QUOTED-PRINTABLE:42 Plantation St.=0D=0ABaytown, LA 30314=0D=0AUnited States of America EMAIL;PREF;INTERNET:[email protected] REV:20080424T195243Z END:VCARD
BEGIN:VCARD VERSION:3.0 N:Gump;Forrest FN:Forrest Gump ORG:Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. TITLE:Shrimp Man TEL;TYPE=WORK,VOICE:(111) 555-1212 TEL;TYPE=HOME,VOICE:(404) 555-1212 ADR;TYPE=WORK:;;100 Waters Edge;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America LABEL;TYPE=WORK:100 Waters Edge\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America ADR;TYPE=HOME:;;42 Plantation St.;Baytown;LA;30314;United States of America LABEL;TYPE=HOME:42 Plantation St.\nBaytown, LA 30314\nUnited States of America EMAIL;TYPE=PREF,INTERNET:[email protected] REV:20080424T195243Z END:VCARD
vCard defines the following property types: *FN, *N, NICKNAME, *PHOTO, *BDAY, *ADR, *LABEL, *TEL, *EMAIL, *MAILER, *TZ, *GEO, *TITLE, *ROLE, *LOGO, *AGENT, *ORG, CATEGORIES, *NOTE, PRODID, *REV, SORT-STRING, *SOUND, *URL, *UID, *VERSION, CLASS, *KEY.
|N||Name||A structured representation of the name of the person, place or thing associated with the vCard object.|
|FN||Formatted Name||The formatted name string associated with the vCard object|
|PHOTO||Photograph||An image or photograph of the individual associated with the vCard|
|BDAY||Birthday||Date of birth of the individual associated with the vCard|
|ADR||Delivery Address||A structured representation of the physical delivery address for the vCard object|
|LABEL||Label Address||Addressing label for physical delivery to the person/object associated with the vCard|
|TEL||Telephone||The canonical number string for a telephone number for telephony communication with the vCard object|
|The address for electronic mail communication with the vCard object|
|MAILER||Email Program (Optional)||Type of email program used|
|TZ||Time Zone||Information related to the standard time zone of the vCard object|
|GEO||Global Positioning||The property specifies a latitude and longitude|
|TITLE||Title||Specifies the job title, functional position or function of the individual associated with the vCard object within an organization (V. P. Research and Development)|
|ROLE||Role or occupation||The role, occupation, or business category of the vCard object within an organization (e.g. Executive)|
|LOGO||Logo||An image or graphic of the logo of the organization that is associated with the individual to which the vCard belongs|
|AGENT||Agent||Information about another person who will act on behalf of the vCard object. Typically this would be an area administrator, assistant, or secretary for the individual|
|ORG||Organization Name or Organizational unit||The name and optionally the unit(s) of the organization associated with the vCard object. This property is based on the X.520 Organization Name attribute and the X.520 Organization Unit attribute|
|NOTE||Note||Specifies supplemental information or a comment that is associated with the vCard|
|REV||Last Revision||Combination of the calendar date and time of day of the last update to the vCard object|
|SOUND||Sound||By default, if this property is not grouped with other properties it specifies the pronunciation of the Formatted Name property of the vCard object.|
|URL||URL||An URL is a representation of an Internet location that can be used to obtain real-time information about the vCard object|
|UID||Unique Identifier||Specifies a value that represents a persistent, globally unique identifier associated with the object|
|VERSION||Version||Version of the vCard Specification|
|KEY||Public Key||The public encryption key associated with the vCard object|
In addition, because vCard augments RFC-2425, a standard for directory information, the following property types are also supported: SOURCE, NAME, PROFILE, BEGIN, END.
vCard supports private extensions, with a "X-" prefix, a number of which are in common usage.
Some of these include:
|extensions supported by multiple different programs|
|X-ABUID||property||string||Apple Address Book UUID for that entry|
|X-ANNIVERSARY||property||YYYY-MM-DD||arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday|
|X-ASSISTANT||property||string||assistant name (instead of Agent)|
|X-GENDER||property||string||value "Male" or "Female"|
|X-AIM||property||string||Instant Messaging (IM) contact information; TYPE parameter as for TEL (I.e. WORK/HOME/OTHER)|
|X-MS-IMADDRESS||property||string||" (IM address in VCF attachment from Outlook (right click Contact, Send Full Contact, Internet Format.)|
|X-MS-CARDPICTURE||property||string||Works as PHOTO or LOGO. Contains an image of the Card in Outlook.|
|X-PHONETIC-FIRST-NAME, X-PHONETIC-LAST-NAME||property||string||alternative spelling of name, used for Japanese names|
|introduced and used by Mozilla, also used by Evolution (software)|
|X-MOZILLA-HTML||property||TRUE/FALSE||mail recipient wants HTML email|
|introduced and used by Evolution (software)|
|X-EVOLUTION-ANNIVERSARY||property||YYYY-MM-DD||arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday|
|X-EVOLUTION-ASSISTANT||property||string||assistant name (instead of Agent)|
|X-EVOLUTION-FILE-AS||property||string||file under different name (in addition to N = name components and FN = full name|
|X-EVOLUTION-VIDEO-URL||property||string/URL||video chat address|
|X-EVOLUTION-CALLBACK||TEL TYPE parameter value||-||callback phone number|
|X-EVOLUTION-RADIO||TEL TYPE parameter value||-||radio contact information|
|X-EVOLUTION-TELEX||TEL TYPE parameter value||-||Telex contact information|
|X-EVOLUTION-TTYTDD||TEL TYPE parameter value||-||TTY TDD contact information|
|introduced and used by Kontact and KAddressBook|
|X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-Anniversary||property||ISO date||arbitrary anniversary, in addition to BDAY = birthday|
|X-KADDRESSBOOK-X-AssistantsName||property||string||assistant name (instead of Agent)|
- hCard - a microformat based on vCard
- Internet Business Cards
- Geo URI - supported by the current revision of the vCard specification.
- "draft-ietf-vcarddav-vcardrev-12 - vCard Format Specification, section-6.5.2". IETF. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (August 2010)
- Internet mail Consortium - Personal Data Interchange
- vCard: The Electronic Business Card (Version 2.1) vCard 2.1 specification (Sept-18-1996)
- Representing vCard Objects in RDF/XML, W3C Note 22 February 2001
- hCard specification
- vCard implementations notes and bug reports
- vCard proposed errata
- RFC 2425 - A MIME Content-Type for Directory Information
- RFC 2426 - vCard MIME Directory Profile
- RFC 2739 - Calendar Attributes for vCard and LDAP
- RFC 4122 - UUID URN namespace (could be used for UID type)
- RFC 4770 - vCard Extensions for Instant Messaging
- IETF vCardDAV working group