Managing the normalization of postal addresses via API has never been easier, even for those with little experience in the IT field. Furthermore, the effort required to adopt an address validation via API is greatly compensated by the advantages that communication via API ensures in terms of remote integration and customization. In fact, it is well-known among professionals that working via API guarantees flexibility and speed in several contexts including the normalization of postal addresses. In this regard, it is important to underline that there are different types of validation or rather that there are different normalization services that can be activated via API, each of them connected to a specific function. First of all, let’s analyze the categories which gather validation services via API.
In addition to the classic normalization of addresses (i.e. verification of postal addresses and possible automatic correction of errors or anomalies), the list includes the following in a random order:
- Address autocompletion by API
This is the most suitable function when one needs to automatically complete a postal address in a form. The automatic self-completion via API allows the end user or data entry employee to type a portion of the address (for example, the street) and select or confirm the remaining suggested fields (i.e. postcode, city, etc.). It’s a practical and modern system to speed up and simplify data entry as well as to make the operation safe and error-proof.
- Address validation by Postcode lookup API
The validation of postcodes is such a good and consolidated practice that it has now obtained a specific name, which is postcode lookup, which refers to the normalization of one or more codes associated with the respective postal address. The reclamation can be used to identify the correct code in relation to the address, identify duplicates and merge them, or even update codes that, based on the information recorded in the program database, are obsolete.
- Address validation by API for international address formatting
If a small business usually covers a local or national area, a medium to large business can sell overseas and have customers from all over the world. However, it must be considered that each country has different rules and mailing formats, which can create problems if they are not respected when shipping a package or an order. To avoid possible delays and non-deliveries, the API validation allows you to format the address according to the pattern in force in the target country. The entire process is automatic and perfectly integrated.
- Address geocoding by API
What if we wanted to obtain the geographic coordinates from one of our addresses with just a click of the validation program? We would have to set up our APIs for geocoding services, an operation that allows us to derive latitude and longitude from a single address or from a group of addresses (batch geocoding). If, instead, starting from the geographic coordinates, we want to obtain the corresponding address, the solution is called reverse geocoding and it can be used either for single pairs of geographic coordinates or for files containing up to hundreds of thousands of coordinates.
WHAT DOES “INTEGRATED” ADDRESS VALIDATION MEAN?
Now we know that there are several features more accessible thanks to API, but we still need to understand the real meaning of “integrated normalization”. What does integration mean exactly? And, if the goal is to customize and precisely control the validation activities, why are APIs the best solution? To answer this question, we need to consider the software integration which can be of two types:
- Integration into custom business applications (online – batch)
Through a web service, Egon is integrated into company software to be exploited in two versions:
1) real-time, via the company Intranet or via the web, or online with support for data entry while using the application
2) automated batch within the processes, for a massive and rapid validation of hundreds or even thousands of addresses
- Integration in standard environments (enterprise application)
In the form of an additional plugin in pre-existing infrastructures such as IBM, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, etc., the Egon software is integrated into the enterprise environment and into the business application.
The integration takes place in different forms, one of them is via API (Application Programming Interface), a graphic and control interface that connects Egon software with the company application. The peculiarity of this interface and its greatest strength is more apparent if the service is used in its online version and the normalization is performed with the “autocomplete” and “suggest” functions. In this case, the user can be any customer who uses the online form to enter their data and complete a registration or a purchase: actually, the software works automatically and independently, without the need of an operator monitoring.
This is an effective option in contexts such as an ecommerce, CRM or ERP software to collect names and addresses. If we want to integrate the validation into the corporate environment to analyze, update, de-duplicate and reclaim data frequently and with a higher level of customization, API once again proves to be an effective system. In this case, the typical user is a web developer, an IT technician or a data entry employee with programming skills: they will be the ones who will interact with Egon and validate the addresses according to the set input and output parameters. If those parameters changed, it would always be possible to modify them at any time. Want some examples?
- All validated addresses could be returned in US and UK postal format automatically
- All addresses belonging to a certain geographical area could be transliterated into another alphabet (i.e. Cyrillic, etc.)
- All addresses included within the metropolitan area of a chosen city can be transformed into geographic coordinates
- And so on … practically indefinitely!
The validated or transliterated or geolocated address can then be transferred or processed by other computer programs, such as GPS navigators, CRM, geomarketing software, etc. In short, this level of customization guarantees the fulfilment of any function and achievement of any goal.
THE INTEGRATIONS THROUGH CODES VIA API AND THE FREE DEMO
At this point, all that remains is to deepen the practical aspect of the integration via API. Those who have to implement our software could be confused at first, but it is similar to any other program. We have a complete and extensive documentation library with the codes to be used to implement the services in the target application. Obviously, the intervention of a technician is required, but it is a process that can be done in a few hours. Furthermore, we also provide a free demo to try the service in one’s own applications or website forms and ecommerce, via API or even through convenient plugins. In a few seconds, you can register and receive your credentials (i.e. username and password): they will allow you to enter the dashboard and start your normalization operations freely. All you have to do is to sign up without any commitment and without having to enter your credit card data: normalization via API is accessible, fast and secure with Egon.