DIME (Direct Internet Message Encapsulation) definition

DIME (Direct Internet Message Encapsulation) is a communications specification that defines a format for attaching files to Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messages between application programs over the Internet. The specification was originally submitted by Microsoft and IBM. DIME is similar to but somewhat simpler than the Internet's Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) protocol.

The attached or encapsulated files in a DIME message are defined by application and are called payloads. A single message can contain payloads having multiple applications. For example, an image file, a text file, a program, and an audio file can be attached to a single e-mail message. DIME messages can be nested. That is, a payload can itself be a DIME message.

The contents of DIME messages are defined by records. Each record specifies the payload size in bytes, the payload content type, and other information. Large payloads can be broken down into smaller payloads, each with their own individual record, if necessary to accommodate the buffer capacity at the source and/or destination.

This was first published in September 2005

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