• Can we submit Unicode characters to Address Object?
• How Address Checking Process works?
• How to script the monthly updates?
• What are Unique ZIP Codes?
• What are Multiple Matches?
• What are Vanity and Prestige City Names?
• What does General Delivery mean?
• What is a Simplified Address?
• What is a CMRA?
• What is a Canadian Rural Postal Code?
• What is a LVR Postal Code?
• What is CASS.
• What Add-ons are available for Address Object and what do they do?
• How much time does it take for new streets to show up in Address Object?
• What fields are required for Address Verification?
• What files are required in order to initialize the Address Object?
• How do I run Address Object in batch mode?
• What are the other interfaces of Address Object?
• What are Result Codes?
• What are Alias and Base/Alternate Addresses?
Q: Can we submit Unicode characters to Address Object?
A: No, you can't submit Unicode characters for address validation. Address Object accepts ASCII format only. Address Object won't be able to recognize Unicode characters. You may see sometimes that address object is returning valid address as invalid or throwing an unexpected error. Then there is strong possibility that your input data is in Unicode format. Almost every language supports the conversion of Unicode to ASCII format.
Q: How Address Checking Process works?
A: Address Checking verifies and standardizes address data against the most current reference data from the U. S. Postal Service® and CanadaPost®.
The programming logic used by Address Check is CASS™ and SERP Certified™. This stringent certification ensures the quality of the data that is returned by the AddressCheck service and the certifications are renewed every calendar year.
Steps to validate an Address.
1. Decide on a target area to search – Use the ZIP Code/City & State Postal Code/Municipality/Province fields to decide where to search for an address. If all three components agree the match is attempted. If they don’t agree, the logic favors the City & State over the ZIP/Postal code field. If City & State cannot be reconciled, it uses the ZIP/Postal Code field.
2. Parse the address – breaks it into 9 possible categories of Range, Predirection, StreetName, Suffix, PostDirection, SuiteName, SuiteNumber, PMBName, PMBNumber.
3. Look for that street name within the search area.
4. If street name is found, check the remaining address components such as directionals, suffix and ranges. Fix what it possible and return back status codes indicating the results.
5. If street name is not found, use a combination of reparsing and fuzzy matching to locate candidate records until a most likely candidate is found. Return back status codes indicating the results.
6. Address Check service will Find Suggestions for candidate records. The Service returns possible correct addresses if the logic was unable to verify or correct the submitted address.
The basic methodology for Address Check is using an exact match the input address is referenced against the USPS or CanadaPost database. If the address cannot be matched the street name is then soundexed and the address parsed attempted till it can either be phonetically matched or fail matching. The Soundex algorithm works by stripping out consonants from street names and then trying to match the remainder. Directionals, Street Suffixes and Street Names can be rectified in some cases as well, but never an Address Range. The only time an Address Range can be fixed if it is Rural Route renumber or LACSLink address or when the Address is coded by chasing the Base alternate record. The City and State can be corrected only when the ZIPCode is valid and the ZipCode can be corrected if the City State is valid. Addresses are always returned standardized to postal specifications. Street becomes ST, Road becomes RD, etc: Standardization means that some conversion was done on the address (for example, changing Post Office Box to PO Box or abbreviating street suffixes)
Q: How to script the monthly updates?
How do I automate getting and installing the monthly Address Object updates?
A: Melissa Data has provided a set of scripts to download the DQ Suite and its misc Address files every month. Download the scripts and insert your custom download links within the configuration params file and then set the scripts to run as a scheduled task. The Windows batch scripts are provided on the DQ Suite DVD, the monthly download in the extras-scripts directory and also here: http://www.melissadata.com/Updaters.zip. UNIX shell scripts will be available soon.
Q: What are Unique ZIP Codes?
A: A unique ZIP Code is assigned to a company or organization. The USPS rule is that any information on the address line is acceptable when coding an address to a unique ZIP Code for which the object will always append a plus4 of 0001.
Q: What are Multiple Matches?
A: A multiple match is an error in the national database in which two identical street ranges were found with different ZIP+4s. CASS rules state that Address Object cannot guess which ZIP+4 should be appended.
Q: What are Vanity and Prestige City Names?
A: A vanity city name is an acceptable city name for the address and ZIP Code submitted. If the city name is an acceptable or vanity city name, the object will not change the city property. If the city appended is not acceptable, the object will change the city to the USPS referred city name.
Q: What does General Delivery mean?
A: Addressing mail pieces with "General delivery" is intended primarily as a temporary means of delivery for transients and customers not permanently located, and for customers who want Post Office box service when boxes are not available. A postmaster may refuse or restrict general delivery so it is not available everywhere. Each general delivery mailpiece is held for no more than 30 days, although a shorter time period may be requested by the sender.
Q: What is a Simplified Address?
A: A simplified address is derived from a DSF walk sequence list which includes 100% of addresses in a Carrier Route. A simplified address is CASS certified on a higher level than Address Object can perform, therefore it cannot be validated or CASS certified.
Q: What is a CMRA?
A: CMRA stands for Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. These are companies that will receive and store you mail for you, like Mailboxes Etc. The individual mail boxes inside a CMRA are called private mailboxes. Address validation will detected the presence of a CMRA but cannot validate individual private mailboxes. Even if a private mailbox is missing, the CMRA iteself can often find the correct mailbox based on the name.
Q: What is a Canadian Rural Postal Code?
A: A rural postal code in Canada is a postal code that designates a rural part of the country. In this case, most mail is deliverable based on local data, and CanadaPost regards any address input as valid when a rural postal code is present. A rural posta code is designated by a 0 in the 2nd digit.
Q: What is a LVR Postal Code?
A: LVR stands for Large Volume Receiver and apply to Canadian addresses only. A LVR postal code is a postal code dedicated on a single Large Volume Receiver. These postal code behaves similarly to Unique Postal Codes for the US in that CanadaPost regards any address as valid when a LVR Postal code is present.
Q: What is CASS.
A: CASS certification is designed in cooperation with the mailing industry to improve the accuracy of postal automation. CASS implies the existence of an address by validating the range of a street number and the street name. It provides a common measure by which to test the quality of address matching software and also addresses known deficiencies common across software products that require correction. Melissa Data CASS software is tested annually with a USPS provided test file to verify that sufficient overall percentage (98%) of the output addresses are coded correctly.
Q: What Add-ons are available for Address Object and what do they do?
A: Add-on's are additional features for Address Object that require additional data files and can provide you with extra or increasingly accurate information.
Delivery Point Validation definitively confirms and validates the actual street number, not just the zip4 range as well as identifying CMRA's. Originally optional, DPV is required for CASS by the USPS and we recommend you always use this add-on.
LACS was developed in response to local 911 systems to convert business and residential rural route addresses to street-style addresses. These permanent address conversions typically involve renumbering and renaming rural route, highway route and box numbers as city-style addresses. Originally optional, LACSLink is required for CASS by the USPS and we recommend you always use this add-on.
This add-on allows the verification of canadian addresses through our SERP certified canadian engine.
RBDI stands for Residential and Business Delivery Indicator. RBDI can identify whether an address is a business or a residence. This may be of valuable importance for shippers who use carriers that charge differently for residences and businesses.
SuiteLink was added by the USPS in 2009 as part of the requirements in order to pass CASS Certification. SuiteLink provides the ability to append missing suite information based on the Company Name.
AddressPlus, released in 2009, is a Melissa Data exclusive product that appends missing suite information based on the provided LastName. Thus if you have an address that is missing the required suite information, it is possible to retrieve this information given the last name. The AddressPlus database is consolidated from several different sources.
Elot stands for Enhanced Line of Travel. It is used by mailing customers to qualify for enhanced carrier route discounts by sorting their mail in the order that the mail carrier would deliver them.
EWS stands for Early Warning System from the USPS. EWS addresses are flagged by Address Check when they are scheduled for inclusion in the USPS database but are not added yet. The addresses are typically new high rises, or new housing subdivisions that are being assigned deliverable mail addresses. The EWS file when present in the Address Object directory ensures that addresses not present in the USPS master file will not be eliminated or coded inaccurately. The EWS file is updated weekly and can be downloaded via the Melissa Data FTP site to give customers the freshest new address information.
Q: How much time does it take for new streets to show up in Address Object?
A: There is some lag in the data updates for new streets. It may take anywhere from a week to a month for that data to make it to us once the USPS adds the new street to their database. Additionally, since our updates are shipped every two months, it may take even longer for the new data to reach you [MelissaData does offer monthly instead of bi-monthly updates for faster updates]. So, depending on when the street name was added, it could take up to two months before the update reaches you.
However, there is a system in place call EWS (Early Warning System) that will alert you that although a street don’t not officially exist in the official database, it is scheduled for addition in the next update. The EWS file (which can be downloaded here: ftp://ftp.melissadata.com/Updates/ews.txt) is updated every week and will give you an error code of “W” if the street in contained in the EWS file. While EWS will be able to pick up new streets in one week of its addition to the USPS database, it will not be able to verify ranges on that street. You must wait for the official update for that.
For details on how to use EWS, please review the Address Object manual (can be downloaded here: http://www.melissadata.com/tech/addressobject.htm).
Q: What fields are required for Address Verification?
A: To correctly validate an address, you need at least one of the following combinations: [Address,City,State] or [Address,ZIP]. It is recommended that you always use Address,City,State, and Zip. City/State and Zip can correct each other if one of them is incorrect.
Q: What files are required in order to initialize the Address Object?
A: The files that must be present are when using PathToUSFiles:
Q: How do I run Address Object in batch mode?
A: There is no batch mode in Address Object. It will always verify one address at a time. To verify multiple addresses, simply create a loop and feed the addresses in one at a time. Make sure to call the ClearProperties method before each iteration to clear any remnants of the previous address.
Q: What are the other interfaces of Address Object?
A: Address Object currently has four different interfaces, each of which performs different functions. These interfaces are AddressCheck, Parse, StreetData, and ZIPData.
The AddressCheck interface is the main interface that handles all the regular address verification processes. It is the one used by virtually all of our customers.
The Parse interface is used to split the individual components of an address. It can also be used to change around the components in order to attempt verification. For example, if “3901 10A Parkview” is entered, the suite is incorrectly placed before the street name and Address Object cannot verify that address. However, if you pass the line through the Parse interface, by the third parse, you will get “3901 Parkview 10A” which will verify correctly.
The StreetData interface is used to search for street information. If you enter a street name and the ZIP Code, the interface will return all records for that street. With that information, you can make determinations like which street ranges and suites are possible. For example, if you get an address with an incorrect range, you can use StreetData to pull out all the possible ranges for that street. If you get an incorrect suite, you can pull out all the possible suite values. With this tool, if you have the street name of an apartment complex, you can pull out all the suites that are present in that complex. This interface supports the use of wildcards so that “Park*” will return any street that begins with “Park” in that particular ZIP Code.
The ZIPData interface is used to find information about ZIP Codes, find all ZIP Codes in a city, and find all cities in a state. This interface also supports the use of wildcards so that you can search for all cities that begin with “Las” if you enter “Las*”. The ZIPData interface is also used to construct elementary Dealer Locators and to just pull up information about a ZIP without using the full address.
Q: What are Result Codes?
A: The Results property is intended to replace the StatusCode and ErrorCode properties. Instead of having to look in several output properties in order to identify the status of an address, the Results property should now be the only property needed to asses in order to determine whether an address was good, partially good, or completely undeliverable. The status of an address is defined through several combinations of result codes.
A list of result codes and what they mean are listed here:
Result Codes and their Description
Q: What are Alias and Base/Alternate Addresses?
A: Alias matching is generally dealing with hints about how a longer name is frequently abbreviated by the locals. Abbreviations such as 333 MARTIN LUTHER KING DR, 33701 really coding as 333 MLK ST N, 33701 in that ZIP code. Or 2215 LWE, 46544 as 2215 LINCOLNWAY E, 46544.
Base/Alternate records involves the same location being referred to by two different street addresses. However, it usually involves people “creating” their own more prestigious or abbreviated names for the location. For example a person might create an address such as 17 Pearson Hall instead of 125 Academy St Rm 17. In other cases, the same physical location shares two names, one of which is official. Lookup both 1325 CAVE ST APT B , 92037 and 1325 COAST BLVDT APT B , 92037 you will find they plot to the same point.