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Importing mailer ID and serial numbers in Postalsoft Desktop Mailer/Business Edition.

In earlier versions prior to Desktop Mailer/Business Edition 8.00c.03.00, the ability to import the Intelligent Mail® barcode, the Intelligent Mail® mailer ID, or the Intelligent Mail® serial number was not present.

The support teams had gotten requests to have this feature available in our software. Many customers would have their mailer IDs and serial numbers sorted using some other third party software or they used simple excel files to track their serial numbers. The ability to simply import their existing files into Desktop Mailer/Business Edition would greatly reduce their operating time and effort in duplicating the data, besides helping avoid any mistakes associated with manual data entry tasks.

The Intelligent Mail® barcode consists of a 20-digit Tracking Code (Barcode ID, Service Type ID, Mailer Identifier, and Serial Number) and up to 11-digit Routing Code (Delivery Point ZIP Code).

The following fields are embedded within the Intelligent Mail barcode:

Barcode ID identifies the presort makeup in conjunction with an Optional Endorsement Line.

Service Type ID identifies special services requested (OneCode Confirm™ and/or OneCode ACS™) or Mail Class when used for automation rate discount without any services.

Mailer ID is a 6-digit or 9-digit number that uniquely identifies the mail owner or mailing agent.

Serial Number can uniquely identify the mail piece or mailing.

Routing Code must contain Delivery Point ZIP Code from CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System) certified software in order to obtain automation rate discount.

Note: If the mailer ID is 6 digits, then the serial number has to be 9 digits. In case the mailer ID is 9 digits, the serial number must be 6 digits.

And our customers might decide to have their information as a barcode or separately in terms of mailer ID and serial number. So the provision was made to 3 import field types available in the database. These 3 fields are:

Imported IM mailer ID – mailer ID to be imported (9 digits).

Imported IM serial number – serial number to be imported (9 digits).

Imported IM barcode – barcode to be imported (31 digits).

The fields Imported IM mailer ID and Imported IM serial number must be added in combination. If the field Imported IM barcode is added to the database then the fields Imported IM mailer ID and Imported IM serial number cannot also be present. The reason is that the Intelligent Mail® barcode can be constructed from individual components of the database if the mailer ID and serial number information is available. So the barcode field would be a redundant field in the database.

If, however, the user has stored the 31 digit barcode itself, then and only the Imported IM barcode field need be added to the database. In this case the Imported IM mailer ID and Imported IM serial number fields become redundant. Postalsoft performs a check when adding fields to the database to let the user know which combination the fields is valid.

Then the user can simply import the file containing the relevant data, map the fields correctly and the software will import the data. Before actually importing the data, however, the software performs a check on the data, and in case there is any discrepancy, does not follow through with any actual importing (as this would corrupt the database). The checks are performed to make sure any data being imported is not blank, is all numeric, the mailer IDs are 6 or 9 digits (and corresponding serial numbers are 9 or 6 digits respectively) in length, and that the barcode field is exactly 20/25/29/31 digits in length and has no missing characters.

The software also scans the barcode or the mailer IDs being targeted for import and errors out if multiple mailer IDs are found in the dataset. The error message is displayed showing the string that is causing the software to halt.

Due to the sheer size of databases that our customers usually import, displaying all the potential mistakes (in the data being imported) at once is not practical. When any part of the data is corrupt, an error message will be displayed on the first instance of data that has an error and the checking-importing process will stop. This will happen for every instance where the data being imported is at fault. This should give the user some idea of what part of the data needs to be rectified.

If all the records being imported pass the checks, the data is imported into the database. Now the user can use this data for presorting or exporting to other file types.

An enhancement as a result of this importing feature is available on the Intelligent Mail® Information screen in Desktop Mailer/Business Edition – the Use imported mailer ID from database check-box. If any imported IM fields exist in the database, this checkbox becomes active. If this check-box is selected, then the software populates the mailer ID from the imported data into the mailer ID dropdown and uses the corresponding imported serial numbers.

If the Imported IM mailer ID is present, the mailer ID is readily available. In case the Imported IM barcode field is present, the software actually extracts the mailer ID from the barcode data and uses it for the Presorting step. The software then uses the serial number associated with each imported record when presorting. After a presort run, in case any Service type IDs (part of the IM barcode) were not correct, they will be corrected by Presort and the user has the option of exporting the data to a file, and choose the Barcode field to be exported. This barcode will have the corrected Service type ID.

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