vCard was developed by the Versit consortium founded by Apple, ATandT, IBM, and Siemens, which turned the specification over to an industry group, the Internet Mail Consortium (IMC) in 1996. The vCard specification makes use of the "person" object defined by the CCITT X.500 Series Recommendation for Directory Services and can be considered an extension of it. A vCard contains a name, address information, date and time, and optionally photographs, company logos, sound clips, and geo-positioning information.
vCards carry vital directory information such as name, addresses (business, home, mailing, parcel), telephone numbers (home, business, fax, pager, cellular, ISDN, voice, data, video), email addresses and Internet URLs (Universal Resource Locators).
All vCards can also have graphics and multimedia including photographs, company logos, audio clips such as for name pronunciation Geographic and time zone information in vCards let others know when to contact you. Of course, vCards support multiple languages.
The vCard spec is transport and operating system independent so you can have vCard-ready software on any computer. vCards are Internet friendly, standards based, and have wide industry support.
vCard information goes way beyond simple text, and includes elements like pictures, company logos, live Web addresses, and so on. The IETF has released the specification for vCard version 3. The two parts of the definition are RFC 2425 - MIME Content-Type for Directory Information and RFC 2426 - vCard MIME Directory Profile
vCalendar: The Basis for Cross-Platform Scheduling
vCalendar defines a transport and platform-independent format for exchanging calendaring and scheduling information in an easy, automated, and consistent manner. It captures information about event and "to-do" items that are normally used by applications such as a personal information managers (PIMs) and group schedulers. Programs that use vCalendar can exchange important data about events so that you can schedule meetings with anyone who has a vCalendar-aware program. The IESG has approved the specification for iCalendar as proposed standards. The three RFCs are RFC 2445 - Internet Calendaring and Scheduling Core Object Specification (iCalendar), RFC 2446 - iCalendar Transport-Independent Interoperability Protocol (iTIP): Scheduling Events, BusyTime, To-dos and Journal Entries, and RFC 2447 - iCalendar Message-based Interoperability Protocol (iMIP)