WebSmart:FAQ

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What can the WebSmart Web Service (DQWS2) do for my company?

Answer
By scrubbing and enhancing your important customer data you maximize and increase the quality of your bottom line. We know that your most important asset is your customers and making sure they are reachable for your invoicing or direct mail campaigns is critical. There are no updates to install as the service is online, real-time, and headache free.


What is a Web Service?

Answer
A Web service is a software application whose interfaces are capable of being defined, described, and discovered in the XML language. A Web service supports direct interactions with other software using XML-based messages exchanged via standard Internet-based protocols.


Substitution of Special Characters while making XML request to Melissa Data WebSmart web service.

Answer
The Data Quality Web Service is XML-based and certain text characters have special meanings. As a result, these characters cannot be passed through the service directly. Instead, the web service must subsitute standard HTML character codes for these characters.
The following table lists the characters and the codes used to replace them.
Character HTML Code
& (ampersand) &
" (quotation mark) "
' (apostrophe) '
< (less-than sign) &lt;
> (greater-than sign) &gt;


What type of performance can I expect with the WebSmart Web Service (DQWS2)?

Answer
This solution is in real-time so each individual record sent from your site to ours is corrected and enhanced on the spot. Depending on factors such as bandwidth, routing, and traffic, there will be some fluctuation. However the normal times usually hover between one to two seconds per record.


What is XML?

Answer
Extensible Mark-up Language, a specification developed by the W3C. XML is a pared-down version of Standard Generalized Mark-Up Language, designed especially for Web documents. XML is a universal format for structured documents and data on the Web.


What are some common applications of our WebSmart Web Service (DQWS2)?

Answer
Real-time address verification from web forms or call centers so that the address is verified at the point of entry. Also now with the SOAP interface we support batch lookups for your complete address verification needs.


What server architecture and what type of redundancy is in place with this Web Service?

Answer
Our web servers run Windows 2003 and utilize load balancing so incoming requests are sent immediately to the next available server. Melissa provides monitoring and real-time testing of all servers so that any problems will be flagged and technicians notified. This design allows for no single point of failure and helps ensure high availability for your critical data.


I am worried about the security of my address data. Can Melissa provide me with a secure solution?

Answer
HTTPS is a secure version of the HTTP Protocol and is available as an option for those customers who require an extra layer of security.


What is SOAP?

Answer
SOAP is an acronym for Simple Object Access Protocol and is a standards-based exchange protocol for the discovery and implementation of web services with XML. SOAP is a current web service standard and behind it stands industry heavyweights such as Microsoft and IBM ™.


When should I choose a locally based programmers tool (Address Object) or a Web service based address solution?

Answer
Those customers that require high security and maximum batch processing performance will wish to implement a local solution like our COM objects. Real time entry of data from a website or call center is the perfect use of the web based solution.


Where can I get sample code on how to submit data to the WebSmart Web Service (DQWS2)?

Answer
Whether you just signed up for our free trial or if you are an existing customer we will make code available on request. Currently we have sample code available in VB.net ASP.net, Perl, PHP, C++ and C#.
See the specific service for WebSmart you are using for their respective results codes.


What is REST?

Answer
REST stands for Representational State Transfer. It conforms to the WC3 Web Services Architecture. A REST request is a simple HTTPS request containing parameters in the URL Query. The response returned is in XML format and is identical to the results returned by our XML service. REST was considered an alternative web service implementation to SOAP and XML, until recently where its popularity has significantly grown.


I think my SOAP header might be incorrect. What should my SOAP header look like?

Answer
In order to make a request to the web services, the appropriate headers must be set in order to correctly communicate with the correct web service.
Here is an example of what a well-formed header looks like:
POST /v2/SOAP/Service.svc HTTP/1.0
Content-Length: 4267
Host: addresscheck.melissadata.net:443
Content-Type: text/xml; charset=utf-8
SOAPAction: "urn:MelissaDataAddressCheckService/IService/doAddressCheck"
Take note that if any of the information above is missing from your header (POST, Content Length, HOST, Content Type or SOAP Action), the SOAP request will fail and return an error. It is important that a proper header be sent in order to make a proper request.
In order to figure out what the actual header looks like as it sent out, you can use tools that will sniff packets from your server. There are free tools online, such as Wireshark, which you can download and install, allowing you to sniff packets from your server and view the SOAP Header in your request. This will allow you to grab the actual packets and let you see if the request header being send is valid and properly formatted.


Do you have a DTD available for the XML WebSmart Web Service (DQWS2)?

Answer
There is no DTD available. Due to the fact that you can send just the tags you require, the use of a DTD is not applicable since we would have to create a DTD for every possible permutation of tag selections. However our new SOAP interface is provided with a WSDL document for clear definitions of all functions of the service.


Why are there two web service options? DQWS and SOAP and which do I need?

Answer
Since Melissa is at the forefront of innovative technologies, we released our DQWS web service before any industry standards had been finalized. The DQWS web service is very easy to utilize from any language and platform. Those installations using .NET or the various SOAP toolkits and requiring a WSDL, would be better served with our new improved SOAP interface. Also many enhancements to the SOAP web service have been implemented, like Residential Delivery Indicator, and street search matching options.


Consuming SOAP Web Services with complex types in Java.

Answer
It’s a weakness of java language that it is not able to handle two complex elements of the same name even if they are under different nodes.
For Example
mdwebserviceaddress.ResponseArray.Record.Address
“Address” is already defined but while parsing the node mdwebserviceaddress.ResponseArray.Record.Address.Type.Address(here “Address” node exists under node “Type”), it will throw an exception.
To resolve this issue you might have to use JAXB binding file to alter the names of a couple of Java classes that were conflicting with classes of the same name.
You can Create alternate name "AddressType" instead of "Address" for the element under "Type.Address" in the schema.
Your schemas in JAXB binding file will look like:
Before
xs:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="Type"
xs:complexType
xs:sequence 
xs:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="Address"
After changes
xs:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="Type"
xs:complexType
xs:sequence
xs:element minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1" name="AddressType"
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