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The Stratum protocol is used for pooled mining as a replacement for the obsolete getwork protocol. The details of the specification, as provided in many places, have be gathered here: Stratum protocol documentation The original mining service specification was available on Slush's pool website. Other examples are available on BTC Guild's website. See also on the forums and the official site. Stratum is also a proposal for an open source client-server "Overlay" protocol that enables thin clients (currently used by Electrum client).

Tables showing miner/server support for Stratum mining protocol:

Server get transactions dynamic difficulty job frequency resume
Bitminter No Yes 30s No
Slush's pool No Yes 30s No
BtcGuild No Yes 30s No
Eloipool Yes Yes 55s No
HHTT No No (User selected difficulty) 30s No
50BTC No No (User selected difficulty) 5s No
Ozcoin No Yes or user selected 30s No