The Presentation Layer

The Presentation layer gets its name from its purpose: it presents data to the Application layer and is responsible for data translation and code formatting.

A successful data-transfer technique is to adapt the data into a standard format before transmission. Computers are configured to receive this generically formatted data and then convert it back into its native format for reading—for example, from EBCDIC to ASCII. By providing translation services, the Presentation layer ensures that the data transferred from one system’s Application layer can be read and understood by the Application layer on another system.

The OSI has protocol standards that define how standard data should be formatted. Tasks like data compression, decompression, encryption, and decryption are all associated with this layer. Some Presentation layer standards are even involved in multimedia operations.

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