address lookup from postcode

Hi all,

I have been tasked with pulling address information into my till software from a postcode lookup.

I have been looking at the various types and offers out there and wanted to know which is best to interact from bespoke software.

I understand it will cost the company money and I want to get the best results for the least work but want to go down the more official route with house numbers and property names.

There are a few on the market but a lot seem to be either driven and price per lookup, or single computer license based in winforms, but I don't know how you then implement that into the software as it seems to be a program call rather than coding it into one of your forms.

Ideally I would like a solution that I could eventually roll out to the website when it is re-written (deadline march 2014), but right now I have a retail show I need to take my working till software in 2 weeks.... so the quicker the better, but ideally I would want to have it within my coding from form.

If I have to look at pricing per machine does anyone have an idea on pricing and what provider has the best interaction.

If we can go down a web service route calling from the application this would be probably the ideal solution if we could get this either on a per lookup or per month basis.

I have spent a few days looking into this and don't want to invest a lot of time on testing each possible solution as this will be a waste of development when I need to concentrate on passing the order data back to the office!!

Any input is appreciated, also any pointers to companies that you may have worked with personally would be good reflection for my next step.

Thank You

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CEL_ITAuthor Commented:
We ended up going with Royal Mail PAF CSV Raw Data.

The plan was to create our own lookup.

29 million records, indexed on Postcode on a local sql2012 express database, worked a treat through a stored procedure and was basically instant.

We are just us8ing on a stand alone system, but if you do want to use on a website it gets very expensive!!!

The file was obviously vary large and I initially struggled to get the data out, and had to work out how to pull the data from the file in, but got there after a couple of hours using a parser.

It took about 8 hours to import the data using my tool. I thought about importing it in sql direct, after I had already started the process... think it would have been much quicker to read in using a sproc of some kind, but I was already on my way before hand. If I want to create an ongoing annual import then I will look into it.

Have you looked at the USPS offering?  They are very reliable.  Depending on the volume of look-ups you need to do and the response time, they should be among your finalists.
Jens FiedererTest Developer/ValidatorCommented:
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CEL_ITAuthor Commented:
Don't think I made the point that I am looking for UK based addresses.

I have been testing with PAF raw data and Data8 web service.

PAF seems quite good but is expensive, data8 again are good and just trying to speak it through with the boss.

He has just thrown a cat among the pigeons though.... does anywhere do postcode lookup with names of occupants??


☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
We use QAS Pro from Experian and have been for about 10 yrs as they have pretty good support and APIs for bespoke look-up links to their DB.
It's pretty much a PAF DB though although somehow we end up paying less for the licensing that if we had got through Royal Mail - doesn't use the public electoral roll data for resident names though.
CEL_ITAuthor Commented:
This was a more suggestive question asking for advice on postal references.

I ended up going with the solution I had initially looked into.
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