Updated from original post The Business of Batches, published 04/02/09
We are often asked, “What is the difference between integrating an API versus running a batch?” Running a batch through one of our contact validation services involves sending your data as a CSV (comma separated values) or Excel file to us for a one-time cleanup. In contrast, programming an API into your application or database will allow you to cleanse, standardize, and correct data as it comes through, in real-time.
There are many options to combine both batch and real-time methods for optimal, up-to-date data quality. If you have an existing contact or customer database, it’s a good idea to start with a batch cleanup; that way any incorrect or incomplete data already lurking in your database will be fixed and updated. While you’re prepping your batch, you can also begin integrating the contact validation API that best fits your needs. However, if API integration is not an option, we often recommend an auto-scheduled FTP batch that can run nightly, weekly, monthly, or by increments of a designated number of transactions. Frequent or real-time use of our web services is the best way to ensure your contact information is accurate, up-to-date, and genuine.
Here are more common questions and answers regarding batch vs. real-time API validation:
Can I order a batch for any of your services?
With the exception of only a few services, the majority of DOTS services are offered in both API and as batch processes.
Is the data different?
The data returned is exactly the same, only the manner in which it is received is different:
- Real-time APIs return the data via the Web in an XML string using standard Internet protocols.
- Batches are manually processed most commonly in CSV or Excel formats. The data output is the same as the APIs, it’s just appended within the file.
What is your pricing for batch services?
Each batch we process has a $125 batch handling fee per file, while API services have a one-time set-up fee of $95, which is waived with an annual contract.
How do I send in my batch to be processed?
Just send your batch file to your friendly Service Objects client rep, or use the online batch upload on our website.
DOTS batch services are a convenient, fast, and easy solution for quick cleanup of your existing contact and customer data. Once you’ve scrubbed your database clean, integrate the API to keep your database in tiptop shape with the most genuine, accurate, and up-to-date data available!