SAP Postalsoft

4 Posts authored by: Ken Burkhamer

If you are upgrading your ACE software to the latest CASS N certified version 8.00c.05.00, you will want to ensure you read the documentation which specifically states that you must own SuiteLink prior to using this release.  Why?  If you do not, and you choose to install and then later realize you do not yet own SuiteLink, you will not be able to process your ACE jobs in CASS mode, period.  

You should already be aware by now, but if not, as of August 1, 2011 USPS has mandated the use of SuiteLink for CASS cycle N.  ACE 8.00c.05.00 is the CASS N certified version of the ACE software, so if you upgrade now without first owning SuiteLink you will not be able to process in CASS mode until you purchase the SuiteLink option and are able to download the directories.  

So do yourself a huge favor, and I cannot stress this enough, always read your documentation prior to installing any new software.  You do not want to find yourself in between a rock and a hard place, i.e. installing ACE 8.00c.05.00 and not yet owning SuiteLink.  I would hate to be the person who has to try and explain to the boss why I cannot process in CASS mode and produce necessary reports for postal discounts all because I did not read the documentation. 

Lastly, if you already know you do not yet own SuiteLink, do yourself another favor and contact your SAP BusinessObjects salesperson.  He/she will set you up and get you going in the correct direction so you will meet that August 1st deadline.

If you use SAP BusinessObjects products, chances are you will have a need to read the documentation prior to using those products.  How many of you who use those products have also had some question on where to locate the documentation?  If your answer to that question is yes, then you will want to read on as I will discuss exactly where you can expect to find the documentation you need.

There are a few areas you can find documentation for your SAP BusinessObjects products.  The first place you can find documentation is after you have downloaded and installed your application, each time you do this there are "Documentation" folders which are automatically created upon completion of the installation.

For example, if you are installing the "ACE" product on a Windows operating system within the "C" drive, there will be a "C:\pw\ace\documentation" folder automatically created.  Within that folder you will find several useful documents, some of which include: System Administrator's Guide, Database Prep manual, Edjob User's Guide, etc.  You will also see an "ACE" folder within the "Documentation" folder.  Within that folder you will find the release notes as well as the ACE Technical Guide.  So that is one area you can expect to find documentation.

The second place you can find documentation is similar to the first I just described above.  Again, within a Windows operating system, you can access it from the "Start" menu.  When you click "Start", scroll to "Programs".  Once that is highlighted, you should see a folder called "Business Objects Applications".  When you highlight that folder, two documentation folders should now be visible.  The first is simply named "Documentation" and the second "Documentation (cross-product)".  Within the "Documentation" folder you should see the user's guides, technical manual's and/or any product specific documentation for all SAP Business Objects products you have installed on that machine.  Within the "Documentation (cross-product)" folder you will find helpful documents such as the System Administrator's Guide, Database Prep manual, etc.  This was a second option of locating your documentation.  There is one last place you can go to find the documentation you need.

The last place you can go to find your documentation is online.  If you log onto SAP Business Objects support portal website, right on the landing page itself you will find links to documentation under "Find Documentation".  You can also find documentation online by performing the following:

1. Go to the SAP Help Portal at http://help.sap.com/
2. Click the gray "SAP BusinessObjects" tab at the top of the screen
3. Click on the black "All Products" tab (or click the link on the left navigation pane)
4. Click the "all products" drop-down to choose the category (example: Data Quality, Postalsoft)
5. Click the "all releases" drop-down to choose a product (example: ACE, Match/Consolidate, Data Services)

You should be able to find whatever documentation you are looking for online or by looking in any of the areas I described above.  If for whatever reason you still have issues and/or cannot locate a specific document, contact SAP Business User Support and an engineer will gladly assist you. 

Have you ever ran an address in our ACE and/or one of our other address correction / standardization applications and received output which was totally unlike what you were expecting?  For example, did your input address contain a Rural Route (RR) which on output was converted to an actual street name?  Or your input primary range on output was changed significantly?  Finally, was your input street name changed on output?  If you have had these issues in the past and could not figure out the reason, most likely it is due to a LACSLink conversion.

What is LACSLink or Locatable Address Correction Systems?  LACSLink is used in address processing to automatically convert addresses which have been changed by local governments.  One common change includes "911" conversions which make it more easy for police, fire, ambulance, and postal services to locate rural addresses.  The actual delivery point remains the same and the occupants of the residence have not moved, but the address itself has been changed.  

How do you identify a record converted by LACSLink?  LACSLink converted addresses will have a LACSLink return code of either "A" or "92".  In order to retrieve those codes you will need to post the appropriate output component in your address standardization/correction software.  For example, in our ACE software, you would want to use the ap.LACSL_Ret (jobfile) or ACE_LACSL_RET (Library) component when processing your job.

So the next time you have an address which you do not believe to be correct and/or is looking like one of the examples I described above, try posting the appropriate LACSLink output component in your ACE and/or other address standardization software.  I am confident that in my experience, most times there is a LACSLink conversion involved and is the reason for the change.

Have you ever received different output from your ACE and/or one of our other address standardization softwares than you received from the USPS ZIP4 lookup website?  If you answered yes, then I will provide you some insight on why that can sometimes happen.

There are many times you may receive differing output in our ACE software vs USPS website lookup tool.  One common reason for this is CASS certified software (such as ACE), may standardize addresses differently due to their parsing and matching logic.  Therefore, you may notice that an address standardizes on the USPS website, however may not standardize when using ACE and/or one of our other address standardization products.

You may have the opposite situation as well.  An address may not standardize on USPS website but it does standardize using one of our address standardization products.  Unfortunately, there is no one authoritative source for how and address should standardize.  Therefore, if USPS, MERLIN and/or any other software vendor claim to be the final say, that simply is not correct.  It is my experience and opinion, that if I receive differing results between ACE vs USPS website for example, I always choose the ACE results as correct since it is CASS certified and uses one directory source vs potentially multiple sources. 

Another reason you may notice differing output, is you may have an address which a LACSLink updated address.  If you are not familiar with what a LACSLink updated address is, I will be blogging more about this subject in the very near future.

Lastly, you may also see an address assign on the USPS website but our address correction software indicates that the address is invalid or does not exist.  This could be the result of a new address not being entered in the US National directories yet and the new and/or updated address will be included in a future directory update.  When the USPS adds an address additional or change, it can sometimes take up to a couple months for the changes to be included in the directory shipments.

If you have an issue where neither our address correction software nor the USPS website assign a particular address believed to be valid, you should contact USPS Address Management Systems Office by sending an email to amssupport.ncsc@usps.gov to report the issue.

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