vCard

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vCard
Filename extension
.vcf, .vcard
Internet media type
text/vcard
Type codevCrd
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI)public.vcard
Developed byCreated by Versit Consortium, all rights transferred in 1996 to Internet Mail Consortium, all rights transferred in 2004 to CalConnect
Type of formatElectronic business card
Container forContact information

vCard, also known as VCF (Virtual Contact File), is a file format standard for electronic business cards. vCards can be attached to e-mail messages, sent via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), on the World Wide Web, instant messaging or through QR code. They can contain name and address information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, URLs, logos, photographs, and audio clips.

vCard is used as data interchange format in smartphone contacts, personal digital assistants (PDAs), personal information managers (PIMs) and customer relationship management (CRMs). To accomplish these data interchange applications, other "vCard variants" have been used and proposed as "variant standards", each for its specific niche: XML representation, JSON representation, or web pages. vCard Plus, an elevated vCard, makes use of a customized landing page with all the basic information along with a profile photo, maps location and other fields. This can also be saved as a contact file on smartphones.

Overview[edit]

The standard Internet media type (MIME type) for a vCard has varied with each version of the specification:[1]

vCard information is common in web pages[citation needed]: the "free text"[clarification needed] content is human-readable but not machine-readable. As technologies evolve, the "free text" (HTML) was adapting to be also machine-readable.

RDFa with the vCard Ontology can be used in HTML and various XML-family languages e.g. SVG, MathML.

Related formats[edit]

jCard, "The JSON Format for vCard" is a standard proposal of 2014 in RFC 7095. This proposal has not yet become a widely used standard. The RFC 7095 does not use real JSON objects, but rather uses arrays of sequence-dependent tag-value pairs (like an XML file).

hCard is a microformat that allows a vCard to be embedded inside an HTML page. It makes use of CSS class names to identify each vCard property. Normal HTML markup and CSS styling can be used alongside the hCard class names without affecting the webpage's ability to be parsed by a hCard parser. h-card is the microformats2 update to hCard.

Properties[edit]

vCard defines the following property types.

All vCards begin with BEGIN:VCARD and end with END:VCARD. All vCards must contain the VERSION property, which specifies the vCard version. VERSION must come immediately after BEGIN, except in the vCard 2.1 standard, which allows it to be anywhere in the vCard. Otherwise, properties can be defined in any order.

Name Property presence Description Example
v. 2.1 v. 3.0 v. 4.0
ADR Optional Optional Optional A structured representation of the physical delivery address for the vCard object. ADR;TYPE=home:;;123 Main St.;Springfield;IL;12345;USA
AGENT Optional Optional Undefined 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. Can be either a URL or an embedded vCard. AGENT:http://mi6.gov.uk/007
ANNIVERSARY Undefined Undefined Optional Defines the person's anniversary. ANNIVERSARY:19901021
BDAY Optional Optional Optional Date of birth of the individual associated with the vCard. BDAY:19700310
BEGIN Required Required Required All vCards must start with this property. BEGIN:VCARD
CALADRURI Undefined Undefined Optional A URL to use for sending a scheduling request to the person's calendar. CALADRURI:http://example.com/calendar/jdoe
CALURI Undefined Undefined Optional A URL to the person's calendar. CALURI:http://example.com/calendar/jdoe
CATEGORIES Optional Optional Optional A list of "tags" that can be used to describe the object represented by this vCard. CATEGORIES:swimmer,biker
CLASS Undefined Optional Undefined Describes the sensitivity of the information in the vCard. CLASS:public
CLIENTPIDMAP Undefined Undefined Optional Used for synchronizing different revisions of the same vCard. CLIENTPIDMAP:1;urn:uuid:3df403f4-5924-4bb7-b077-3c711d9eb34b
EMAIL Optional Optional Optional The address for electronic mail communication with the vCard object. EMAIL:johndoe@hotmail.com
END Required Required Required All vCards must end with this property. END:VCARD
FBURL Undefined Undefined Optional Defines a URL that shows when the person is "free" or "busy" on their calendar. FBURL:http://example.com/fb/jdoe
FN Optional Required Required The formatted name string associated with the vCard object. FN:Dr. John Doe
GENDER Undefined Undefined Optional Defines the person's gender. GENDER:F
GEO Optional Optional Optional Specifies a latitude and longitude. 2.1, 3.0: GEO:39.95;-75.1667
4.0: GEO:geo:39.95,-75.1667
IMPP Undefined Maybe Optional Defines an instant messenger handle.

This property was introduced in a separate RFC when the latest vCard version was 3.0. Therefore, 3.0 vCards might use this property without otherwise declaring it.

IMPP:aim:johndoe@aol.com
KEY Optional Optional Optional The public encryption key associated with the vCard object. It may point to an external URL, may be plain text, or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text. 2.1: KEY;PGP:http://example.com/key.pgp
2.1: KEY;PGP;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: KEY;TYPE=PGP:http://example.com/key.pgp
3.0: KEY;TYPE=PGP;ENCODING=b:[base64-data]
4.0: KEY;MEDIATYPE=application/pgp-keys:http://example.com/key.pgp
4.0: KEY:data:application/pgp-keys;base64,[base64-data]
KIND Undefined Undefined Optional Defines the type of entity that this vCard represents: 'application', 'individual', 'group', 'location' or 'organization'; 'x-*' values may be used for experimental purposes.[2][3] KIND:individual
LABEL Optional Optional Incorporated without Represents the actual text that should be put on the mailing label when delivering a physical package to the person/object associated with the vCard (related to the ADR property).

Not supported in version 4.0. Instead, this information is stored in the LABEL parameter of the ADR property. Example: ADR;TYPE=home;LABEL="123 Main St\nNew York, NY 12345":;;123 Main St;New York;NY;12345;USA

LABEL;TYPE=HOME:123 Main St.\nSpringfield, IL 12345\nUSA
LANG Undefined Undefined Optional Defines a language that the person speaks. LANG:fr-CA
LOGO Optional Optional Optional An image or graphic of the logo of the organization that is associated with the individual to which the vCard belongs. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text. 2.1: LOGO;PNG:http://example.com/logo.png
2.1: LOGO;PNG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: LOGO;TYPE=PNG:http://example.com/logo.png
3.0: LOGO;TYPE=PNG;ENCODING=b:[base64-data]
4.0: LOGO;MEDIATYPE=image/png:http://example.com/logo.png
4.0: LOGO:data:image/png;base64,[base64-data]
MAILER Optional Optional Undefined Type of email program used. MAILER:Thunderbird
MEMBER Undefined Undefined Optional Defines a member that is part of the group that this vCard represents. Acceptable values include:
  • a "mailto:" URL containing an email address
  • a UID which references the member's own vCard
The KIND property must be set to "group" in order to use this property.
MEMBER:urn:uuid:03a0e51f-d1aa-4385-8a53-e29025acd8af
N Required Required Optional A structured representation of the name of the person, place or thing associated with the vCard object. N:Doe;John;;Dr;
NAME Undefined Optional Undefined Provides a textual representation of the SOURCE property.
NICKNAME Undefined Optional Optional One or more descriptive/familiar names for the object represented by this vCard. NICKNAME:Jon,Johnny
NOTE Optional Optional Optional Specifies supplemental information or a comment that is associated with the vCard. NOTE:I am proficient in Tiger-Crane Style,\nand I am more than proficient in the exquisite art of the Samurai sword.
ORG Optional Optional Optional 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. ORG:Google;GMail Team;Spam Detection Squad
PHOTO Optional Optional Optional An image or photograph of the individual associated with the vCard. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text. 2.1: PHOTO;JPEG:http://example.com/photo.jpg
2.1: PHOTO;JPEG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: PHOTO;TYPE=JPEG;VALUE=URI:http://example.com/photo.jpg
3.0: PHOTO;TYPE=JPEG;ENCODING=b:[base64-data]
4.0: PHOTO;MEDIATYPE=image/jpeg:http://example.com/photo.jpg
4.0: PHOTO:data:image/jpeg;base64,[base64-data]
PRODID Undefined Optional Optional The identifier for the product that created the vCard object. PRODID:-//ONLINE DIRECTORY//NONSGML Version 1//EN
PROFILE Optional Optional Undefined States that the vCard is a vCard. PROFILE:VCARD
RELATED Undefined Undefined Optional Another entity that the person is related to. Acceptable values include:
  • a "mailto:" URL containing an email address
  • a UID which references the person's own vCard
RELATED;TYPE=friend:urn:uuid:03a0e51f-d1aa-4385-8a53-e29025acd8af
REV Optional Optional Optional A timestamp for the last time the vCard was updated. REV:20121201T134211Z
ROLE Optional Optional Optional The role, occupation, or business category of the vCard object within an organization. ROLE:Executive
SORT-STRING Undefined Optional Incorporated without Defines a string that should be used when an application sorts this vCard in some way.

Not supported in version 4.0. Instead, this information is stored in the SORT-AS parameter of the N and/or ORG properties.

SORT-STRING:Doe
SOUND Optional Optional Optional By default, if this property is not grouped with other properties it specifies the pronunciation of the FN property of the vCard object. It may point to an external URL or may be embedded in the vCard as a Base64 encoded block of text. 2.1: SOUND;OGG:http://example.com/sound.ogg
2.1: SOUND;OGG;ENCODING=BASE64:[base64-data]
3.0: SOUND;TYPE=OGG:http://example.com/sound.ogg
3.0: SOUND;TYPE=OGG;ENCODING=b:[base64-data]
4.0: SOUND;MEDIATYPE=audio/ogg:http://example.com/sound.ogg
4.0: SOUND:data:audio/ogg;base64,[base64-data]
SOURCE Optional Optional Optional A URL that can be used to get the latest version of this vCard. SOURCE:http://johndoe.com/vcard.vcf
TEL Optional Optional Optional The canonical number string for a telephone number for telephony communication with the vCard object. TEL;TYPE=cell:(123) 555-5832
TITLE Optional Optional Optional Specifies the job title, functional position or function of the individual associated with the vCard object within an organization. TITLE:V.P. Research and Development
TZ Optional Optional Optional The time zone of the vCard object. 2.1, 3.0: TZ:-0500
4.0: TZ:America/New_York
UID Optional Optional Optional Specifies a value that represents a persistent, globally unique identifier associated with the object. UID:urn:uuid:da418720-3754-4631-a169-db89a02b831b
URL Optional Optional Optional A URL pointing to a website that represents the person in some way. URL:http://www.johndoe.com
VERSION Required Required Required The version of the vCard specification. In version 4.0, this must come right after the BEGIN property. VERSION:3.0
XML Undefined Undefined Optional Any XML data that is attached to the vCard. This is used if the vCard was encoded in XML (xCard standard) and the XML document contained elements which are not part of the xCard standard. XML:<b>Not an xCard XML element</b>

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ RFC 6350, section 10.1 "Media Type Registration"
  2. ^ "vCard Format Specification: 6.1.4. KIND". IETF. August 2011.
  3. ^ "vCard KIND:application". IETF. December 2011.

External links[edit]