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Definition: naming service

Software that converts a name into a physical address on a network. It is similar to someone looking up a phone number in a telephone book by first and last name. Providing "logical" to "physical" conversion, a naming service can be thought of as a White Pages or Yellow Pages directory service. In fact, Sun's naming service, later called Network Information Services (NIS), was originally called Yellow Pages.

Name Resolution
The names can be of users, computers, printers, files or other resources. The transmitting station sends a name to the server containing the naming service software, which sends back the actual address of the user or resource. The process is known as "name resolution."

Domain Name System (DNS)
The most ubiquitous naming service in the world is the DNS system used on the Internet and other TCP/IP networks. DNS returns the numeric IP address for the submitted domain name (see DNS). See name resolution, WINS, HOSTS file and directory service.