melissa data address verification web service ============================================= introduction ------------ what is melis

Melissa Data Address Verification Web Service
=============================================
Introduction
------------
What is Melissa Data?
Melissa Data is a database of addresses recognized by the US Postal
Service. The record set contains all data for all addresses in the
United States. Each address is properly formatted in a way consistent
with a standard the postal service recognizes.
The software and database was purchased by the Division of Information
Technology and is updated several times a year. At this time there is
no cost associated with the use of the product although its use is
limited to Rhode Island agencies to conduct official state business.
What isn’t Melissa Data?
The data does not match individuals to addresses. The database does
not include information about who lives at a specific address – it
simply determines whether the data entered is a valid address. If the
address is not valid or there are multiple matches, an error message
will be returned.
What is the Melissa Data web service?
This is a service which enables you to pass an address, or partial
address to the Melissa database. The address sent will be parsed
against the database and results returned as a structured XML file.
What would I use Melissa Data for?
There are three main ways to use this web service. The first is to
verify the existence of an address. The second is to make sure that
the address is in the proper format. The third is to provide
additional information about an address such as the last four digits
of an extended zip code, the county and even the time zone the address
is in.
Why would I use Melissa Data?
The most prominent reason to verify address data is to ensure that you
are collecting the most accurate and complete data you can. Melissa
Data Web service can correct incorrect zip codes and street names, add
four digit codes to the zip code (zip plus four), and supply missing
zip codes.
Using address verification is also important because it can help
prevent mail from being returned to you as undeliverable. Properly
formatting addresses can also lower postage rates and ensures prompt
delivery (such as including the 4 digit zip code extension.)
The proper formatting of addresses can also help in matching user
input against a database of known addresses such as a voter look-up
search.
The Melissa Data object also contains information about an address
ranging from time zone to congressional district.
Who can use Melissa Data?
The Melissa Data Service is available to all Rhode Island state
government agencies. The service is located outside the Department of
Administration server firewall to provide access to all agencies.
All users must include their state mailing code in each request to the
system. This code is used by Central Mail to track which agencies are
utilizing the web service.
Using Melissa Data
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Calling the web service
To utilize the web service you will need to pass the service the
following as many of the following parameters as you can: address,
suite, city, providence, state, zip.
Remember to also include your state mailing code. This code is used by
central mail to track which agencies are utilizing the web service.
Here is an example of a URL passing data as parameters as part of a
CGI “get” request:
http://[MELISSA
SERVER]/cgi-bin/address/validate.cgi?address=10+Dorrance+Street&suite=Suite+610&city=Providence&state=RI&zip=02903&statepc=22932
The service will always return an XML object. The first part of the
object will be enclosed as and will contain all of the
data originally sent in the request. The second part of the object
will be enclosed as and will vary dependent on the
match of your input.
If the address is valid the service will return as much information
about the address, enclosed in the tag as it has
available.
If the address is not valid the service will return appropriate error
codes indicating what was wrong with the input address.
A complete list of results data and error codes can be found at the
end of this document.
Examples of error codes
Example 1: Range Error
In this example, the address submitted was 45 Main Street but the
range of numbers on Main Street only goes up to 41. The error code “R”
indicates that 45 Main Street is out of range and therefore an invalid
address.

VerifyAddress Failed
R
Range Error
X

Example 2: Unknown Street
In this example the address submitted was 12 Blue Street in
Barrington, but no such street exists. The error code “U” indicates
that Blue Street is unknown and is therefore an invalid address.

VerifyAddress Failed
U
Unknown Street
X

Another error the system may generate is a Multiple Match error. An
example would be an input of 12 Mathewson Street in Barrington. There
is no Mathewson Street in that town but there is a Mathewson Lane and
Mathewson Court. Because there is a number 12 on both the system
rejected the input.
Correcting Addresses
One of the most powerful aspects of the Melissa Data Web Service is
the ability to correct poorly formatted addresses into the format
recognized as correct by the US Postal Service.
If the service finds an address in it’s dataset which on several of
the parameters matches to the input data it will return the corrected
address as part of the object.
2 Crestwood Street in Barrington will be returned as 2 Crestwood Rd
In the same way, missing zip code information (including the 4 digit
extension) will be supplied as part of the object.
Note on Address Correction
Users should understand that matching on incomplete addresses can be
problematic. If a zip code is omitted from the object, or is
incorrect when the street address, city and state are matched to the
record set the system may return the zip code it determines to be
correct however there is no guarantee that this is the zip code
matching the address intended by the user on input. For that reason it
is always best to display aspects of the result back to the user
before committing to the changes suggested by the system.
Users should also check input information against the result object to
determine what has been changed to avoid the acceptance of wrong
information.
Appendix
--------
Error Codes
M Multiple Matches
N No Data Available For City
R Range Error
T Component Error
U Unknown Street
X Undeliverable Address
Z Invalid ZIP Code
C Canadian ZIP Code
D Demo Mode Only
Results XML
The following XML object is returned in the tags. Notes have
been included where the data tag may not be clear.









M A suite number is required for the given street address but is
missing from the submitted record.
R A suite number is present on the submitted record but is either not
required or is out of range for the given street address.
V The suite field was verified.
X The suite field was not coded.


A 1-digit string set after a successful return from the Verify Address
Method. This 1-digit string makes up the 12th position of a 12-digit
POSTNet barcode. In 12-digit POSTNet barcodes, the ZIP Code is used
for positions 1 to 5, the Plus4 code for positions 6 to 9, the
delivery point code for positions 10 and 11, and this check digit for
position 12.




Federal Information Processing Standards Codes for states, counties,
and named populated places.

F Firm or company address
G General Delivery address
H High rise or business complex
P PO Box address
R Rural route address
S Street or residential address



This property applies to Puerto Rican addresses only.


Returns a one-character string which indicates if the input address
has undergone a conversion to city-style street addresses. Some rural
route addresses are modified to city-style addresses to allow
emergency services (for example, ambulance, police, fire, and so on)
to find these addresses more efficiently. The LACSLink service matches
the old address with the updated address and corrects it as part of
the Address Check process.



The Office of Management and Budget defines the Metropolitan
Statistical Area (MSA). An MSA consists of one or more counties
forming a large population with adjacent communities and having a high
degree of social and economic integration.

Unknown at this time

D Demo Mode
E Expired database
S (US) The address was standardized but not coded. Standardization
means that some conversion was done on the address (for example,
changing Post Office Box to PO Box or abbreviating street suffixes).
V Street number validated to DPV level.
X Address was not coded.
6 A Canadian address was fully coded.
7 (US) There were multiple matches for the address but they were all
in the same ZIP Code and carrier route. The returned ZIP Code and
carrier route will be correct but you will not get any +4 information.
9 (US) The address was fully coded.

M Multiple Matches
N No Data Available For City
R Range Error
T Component Error
U Unknown Street
X Undeliverable Address
Z Invalid ZIP Code
C Canadian ZIP Code
D Demo Mode Only


Returns a one character (Y/N) string which indicates whether or not an
address is actually a private mailbox at a Commercial Mail Receiving
Agency (CMRA) like the UPS Store
The following return information about the parameters sent as part of
the input object











Melissa Data Address Verification Web Service Overview Page 6

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