IRIS (Internet Registry Information Service) is an application layer client-server protocol for a framework to represent the query and result operations of the information services of Internet registries. Specified in the Extensible Markup Language (XML), the protocol defines generic query and result operations and a mechanism for extending these operations for specific registry service needs.
IRIS has been developed as a replacement for the Whois protocol by the Cross Registry Internet Service Protocol (CRISP) working group of the IETF. The Whois database was first published in the early 1980's and has become outdated due to the changes in the infrastructure and the administration of domain names.
There were problems with different Whois services providing different information for the same query. There were also problems with privacy and security. All these lead to the development of a new protocol, IRIS.