A few Deliverability.com contributors have discussed DMARC, since the new technical specification was introduced to the world of email early this year. If you’re not yet up to speed on the whole DMARC thing, check out Nicholas Toper’s previous deliverability.com post, the DMARC.org home page or see what wikipedia has to say.
Given the great importance of this topic within the industry in which we all live, I thought I’d provide the @Deliverability community with a quick update on the progress and current status of the initiative.
The information below comes from first-hand experience of a few of my fellow SendGrid’ers, Paul Kincaid-Smith (Manager of Delivery & Industry Relations) and Elmer Thomas (Developer Evangelist), who had the honor of attending the inaugural DMARC Interoperability event last week.
Last Thursday and Friday (July 19-20), about thirty people from leading organizations (AOL, Linkedin, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Comcast, PayPal, ReturnPath, etc) gathered at Facebook’s offices in Menlo Park for this monumental meeting of the email minds. Some folks also participated remotely, from as far away as Europe and China. Dave Crocker chaired the event and explained the mission of the gathering:
- To verify that each others’ DMARC tools did what they were supposed to.
- Were they interpreting a domain’s published DMARC policy correctly?
- Were they sending reports in the correct format?
- Were those reports interpreted correctly and converted into actionable data?
- How would exceptions be handled?
- Where exist opportunities for 3rd party verification tools during production rollout?
- What privacy or security challenges should we anticipate?
Interoperability events like this are milestones in an emerging standard’s maturity. They catalyze multiple parties to get code written and tested by a certain date. Dave Crocker observed that, “a single interoperability event can accelerate the adoption of a new technology by at least six months.”
A battery of tests were run. Errors were discovered and fixed. Some changes to the DMARC specification were proposed, and thus a version rev.03 is expected to be forthcoming.
All in all, attendees enjoyed two solid days of productivity and were able to sprinkle in just the right amount of fun – yes, all the serious email talk was balanced by a healthy social dimension! The mood amongst the group was cooperative, collaborative and respectful, and everyone seemed to truly enjoy spending time with their peers, before, during and after each session. And who could forget Facebook’s well-supplied cafeteria — gracious hosts indeed!
If all this piques your interest (and I’m sure it does!), then you might want to dig a little deeper. Here are some resources that will help you do just that:
- The current, official DMARC spec
- A collection of DMARC resources, including articles, tools and product/service vendors
- check out the code from Elmer’s DMARC Parser on Github!
- Excited to participate and do your part to help? Get involved!
If you attended and have something to add to our recap, feel free to share below in the comments!
Have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us on the twitters or ask below, and we’ll get back to you asap!
We suggest that anyone who’s interested in email enough to read Deliverability.com should take the time to educate themselves on DMARC, stay up to date on the latest developments and consider getting more deeply involved!
Thanks for your time, and I hope this is helpful information for all!