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AppleTalk Session Protocol

(also ASP)

AppleTalk Session Protocol definition

AppleTalk Session Protocol (ASP) was a communication protocol that allowed Apple devices to connect and share resources (for example, files and printers). The protocol was part of the AppleTalk suite but is now considered obsolete, with only legacy systems using it.

See also: data packet, session layer

AppleTalk Session Protocol history

AppleTalk Session Protocol was part of the AppleTalk suite introduced in the 1980s. At that time, the protocol was considered somewhat of a groundbreaking technology. It focused on establishing communication between devices so that computers could easily share files, printers, and other resources.

Compared to the other solutions available back then, AppleTalk Session Protocol was considered user-friendly and something people could use without needing to be networking experts. AppleTalk was widely used in business and educational institutions until the 2000s but phased out when more universal networking standards (like TCP/IP) emerged. Some legacy systems may still use it today, but that’s not very common.

How the AppleTalk Session Protocol works

  • When two Apple devices want to communicate, they exchange information to establish a connection.
  • Once connected, they can exchange data (e.g., files, print jobs, or other information).
  • ASP manages the ongoing communication session and ensures the data is sent correctly and received without errors.
  • Resource sharing was an important feature when the protocol was widely used. For example, a Mac could share its printer, and ASP made sure the devices sent and received print jobs correctly.
  • ASP includes error-checking mechanisms to detect and fix problems with sending data.
  • When the communication is done, devices can easily end the session.