Piecing Together the Address Puzzle. By Mabel Grein (USPS, Information Technology). May 3, 2001. Santa Clara, California. Presentation at the ECCMA Meeting: "Addressing Standards in the New Millennium." 28 slides in Powerpoint presentation. Topics Covered: Why the USPS became involved; Quick history; Where we are today with ECCMA; ADIS. This outline generated from original Powerpoint source: http://www.eccma.org/download/MabelGrein-May3.zip.
Piecing Together The Address Puzzle
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Why the USPS became involved
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Quick history
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Where we are today with ECCMA
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>ADIS
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Thanks
Have You Ever Seen These Symptoms?
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Systems that collect similar information but cannot
communicate with each other
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Screens that are designed to collect a specific type
of data without consideration of all the differences within that type of data
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>The address information collected exceeds the space
available on the output medium
Poorly Designed Data Collection
Attention name: Mr. Abdula Hasim
Company name: International Communication Sdn. Bhd
Address line 1 : Wisma
Address line 2 : Lot
10, 9/5 Jalan Paku
Will the Address Fit?
Family Jewelry Ltd
Cottage on the Thames
South Wuthering Heights Road
In 1996 the USPS was experiencing all these
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Older applications/external input/design differences
across functional areas, and all caused havoc when trying to share corporate
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>Newer applications were being developed based upon a
historical understanding of domestic addressing requirements despite the real,
but unrecognized, need to collect international information as well.
A Standard is the answer
We needed to establish a standard for
addressing that was based on more than personal experience and authority.
The standard needed to be established in
such a way that external (non-Postal) vendors would also recognize it.
Data Interchange Standards Association
In 1996 the USPS began working with industry leaders and the Data
Interchange Standards Association on an EDI standard (TS-101) for domestic name
and address lists.
TS-101 is a domestic address standard
designed to facilitate the transmission of strung address lines or parsed
address elements or a combination of both styles.
Addresses have historically been collected
in strung address lines as presented by the addressee or their
When entered into the database in this
fashion it is hard to analyze the data and it permits little control or
intelligence in the presentation.
What is the Relationship?
One wouldn’t set out to build a database
without identifying the contents of the rows and columns, yet, most address
information is entered without knowing
what parts of an address will be in which column. This is especially important with
international addresses where the address formats and languages may be
Implications of International Addresses
Where does the Post Code go? This is, possibly, the simplest and most
difficult question I have been asked.
There are other issues that involve county/province/state locations,
capitalization, punctuation, field lengths and special handling
do you build an intelligent database when the rules change from country to
Parsing is the Answer
By breaking the address components down to
their lowest logical level you can build an intelligent database.
But how do you put the addresses back
Templates for Reassembly
Templates outline where the address elements
should be placed to rebuild the address.
The USPS and mailing industry leaders began
work on the international address standard, PROLST, in 1999.
We presented our work for the first time at
the UN/EDIFACT meeting in March 2000 at the Paris EDIFACT Work Group (EWG)
PROLST gains MID status
PROLST was approved as a UN/EDIFACT Message
In Development (MID) in March 2000.
PROLST was modified as a result of the input
from the Paris meeting and was revised at the Taiwan EWG meeting.
PROLST Status Today
The Electronic Commerce Code Management
Association (ECCMA) - International
Address Element Code (IAEC) tables used by PROLST have been propagated with all
the US domestic, and some international, elements.
The eight templates identified for USPS
addresses will be available soon from
the ECCMA web page.
PROLST - Future Plans
In September 2001 the USPS plans to present
PROLST for acceptance as a full UNSM standard to the UN/EDIFACT Subcommittee.
How Can We Move So Swiftly?
By externalizing the code tables we can add
elements to the standard as they are revealed by the research.
<![if !supportLists]>– <![endif]>Today
the element tables maintained by Electronic Commerce Code Management
Association contain all of the domestic name and address elements identified by
the USPS and the mailing industry representatives.
<![if !supportLists]>– <![endif]>Soon
the element tables will reflect the elements identified by the Center for
European Normalization (CEN).
Universal Postal Union Efforts
January the USPS and Joe Lubenow
representing the GCA and the UPU-DMAB joined forces, prepared and presented
documents for two standards proposals (Status P) for the UPU. The purpose of these proposals was to:
EDI and XML messages
Collect Address Elements
To begin the work on collecting address
elements a survey was sent by the UPU POST*Code Technology task force led by
Mike Murphy of the USPS to all member posts of the UPU. The purpose was to determine which countries
had already identified address elements and to determine which countries
desired assistance with developing this information.
Where We Are Today
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>International address elements are being collected
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>US address templates have been developed
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>US address elements are in the ECCMA web site tables
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>US templates will soon be available in the ECCMA web
site tables (example follows)
<![if !supportLists]>n <![endif]>White paper is in a draft state.
Sample of the IAEC Element Entries
SQID CLASS COMPONENT TITLES
000 Physical Address Component
002 House number
013 10 009 Street name
000 Name Component
046 11 002 Primary honorific
047 11 003 Primary given name
048 11 004 Primary first middle name
049 11 005 Primary second middle name
040 11 006 Primary family name
Sample Address Template
The Next Step
As international address element and
template information is gathered by the UPU this information will be added to
the ECCMA - IAEC tables. Countries that
have already built databases and have identified address elements will find
this easier to do then less developed countries. Eventually, we hope that this work will
reflect all of the world Posts.
So Where Does ADIS Fit In?
The GCA ADIS standard is being developed to
support address element technology AND to support the common line by line
addressing style most companies are using today. ADIS also incorporates information that
printers require. It is fully compatible
with the domestic EDI address standard TS-101.
ADIS Can Support PROLST
PROLST is a fully parsed address
format. If the data is parsed in ADIS
then ADIS and PROLST are also fully compatible.
What’s The Difference?
The ADIS standard transmits not only name
and address information but printer oriented information as well. Functionally, TS-101 and PROLST were vehicles
for exchanging name and address list information.
Many thanks are owed to Alan Morse of
Triplex Direct Marketing, Peter Benson of Resolvenet, Frank Montague of R.R. Donnelley, Joe Lubenow and Noel Wickham of Experian,
Phil Thompson of Quad/Graphics, the GCA ADIS subcommittee, the folks from DISA,
the United Nations/EDIFACT Work Group Purchasing Subcommittee and the UPU