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Screen scraping and validating addresses

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    Screen scraping and validating addresses

    For those of you who might be interested, there is a new article on Dr. Peter Wayne's website www.learn that describes a way to validate a US address without purchasing additional software and without opening a web browser.
    The article is here:
    http://www.learn and there is a short video at the end of the article.

    Last edited by Jay Talbott; 01-26-2010, 12:22 AM.
    Jay Talbott
    Lexington, KY

    Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses


    I've done some work with Http_get_page2() for getting data from the internet but your implementation of this for addresses looks really slick.


      Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

      I've read the article, but would be much obliged if somebody would take the time to give me some more basic understanding about how this is working with something simple..... to get the idea?


        Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

        I apologize if the article is not clear enough, but all I can say is that the Http_get_page2() function returns the contents of the web page that the USPS web site is returning and puts that text into a variable. The script finds the appropriate area of the text file and extracts what the USPS web site is returning to determine if the address is valid, and if so, it also extracts the ZIP+4 portion of the ZIP Code. If it is not valid, the script notifies the user.
        Hope that helps.
        Jay Talbott
        Lexington, KY


          Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

          It is a very clever script, I just only wish I could get something similar working for the UK postal codes available via the Royal Mail. Unfortunately the Royal Mail web site restricts the number of searches per day.
          Glen Schild

          My Blog


            Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

            I have copied the scripts from learn and made a form with the necessary fields.
            However, the scripts do not do what the video does.
            There were a couple of typo's I fixed but you will see there is no code to change city or state which the video shows happening.
            Also, I only get a message "Note: Program error. Cannot tell if address is deliverable" (case else) even when I put in the addresses used in the video!

            This is the address_validation script I am using:
            dim global vc_address1 as c
            dim global vc_address2 as c
            dim global vc_city as c
            dim global vc_state as c
            dim global vc_zip as c
            	CASE "td headers=\"full\"" $ result
            		msg="Valid address!"
            		scanner.SkipToString("td headers=\"full\"")
            		scanner.SkipToString("  ")
            		scanner.SkipOverString("  ")
            		vc_zip=scanner.ScanToString("<br />")
            		msg=msg+crlf()+"Zip is "+vc_zip
            	CASE "td headers=\"non\"" $ result
            		msg="Non-deliverable address!"+crlf()+"Please correct !"
            	CASE else
            		msg="Program error. Cannot tell if address is deliverable."
            END SELECT
            Has anyone had luck using the script?


              Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

              One thing that I might not have mentioned in the videos is that I used a zip code lookup database to populate the city and state.

              Have you tried putting a debug in the script to see what is happening?
              If I get a chance this weekend, I will look at your script.
              Best regards,
              Jay Talbott
              Lexington, KY


                Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses


                Thank you for feedback - certainly a zip code lookup database to populate the city and state explains a lot.

                There seems to be a problem with the web site at present as I am getting a "temporarily unavailable" message so I will try again over next 24 hours and report back.



                  Re: Screen scraping and validating addresses

                  I sent a little app to a colleague in Texas USA and it works as your video shows :), but from here in Australia it does not work :(.
                  It seems there is some sort of filtering going on but I am not overly concerned because users will only be in US, so thank you for sharing the code!
                  Is the lookup database to populate the city and state that you use freely available? If so, I am interested to integrate it into the application.
                  I know from experience here in Australia that such data is available for a price (about US$900/yr) and that subscribers get quarterly updates.