Rendezvous is Apple Computer's version of ZeroConf (Zero Configuration Networking), a set of protocols that enables a device on an IP network to automatically recognize and connect with other devices on the network. To the end user, this means that when a new device (such as a printer) connects to the network, every computer on the network is able to use it instantly without any setup or special configuration. Rendezvous uses IETF standards for both Link Local Addressing (LLA) and Multicast DNS (mDNS). mDNS allows the new device to advertise its existence and the services it offers. LLA looks around, negotiates with other devices on the subnet, and picks a suitable IP address for the device. Because Rendezvous and Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) are both based on LLA, a single device can implement both protocols.
Developers can download Rendezvous under the Apple Public Source License. To be Rendezvous-compliant, a device must be able to assign an IP address without requiring a DHCP server, be able to translate between names and IP addresses without a DNS server, and locate or advertise services without a directory server. Rendezvous is part of a broader open source initiative from Apple which includes the Darwin 6.0.1 operating system and Open Directory plug-ins.