How to Automate Address List Processing

After logging in to your account, you can paste a list of addresses from a delimited text file and have it processed for you using your API subscription. This article describes how to automate the process so you don't have to copy and paste each list manually. In order to automate list processing, you will need a programmer in your organization to write some code using the one of the SDKs provided by SmartyStreets.

How Our List Processor Works

First, it will be helpful to understand how the list processor on our website works. When you paste in a delimited text file (like a CSV or tab-delimited file) and submit it for processing, the following things happen:

  1. The input text is parsed, line by line, to get each address into its components (street, city, state, ZIP).
  2. The addresses are submitted, 100 at a time, to our API using an HTTP request with credentials from your account.
  3. The responses from each API request are lined up with the input file so that each input row has a 1:1 match with output, even if the address on that row didn't validate.
  4. Results are aggregated into a delimited text string which you can copy and paste back into a file to save it.

Writing Your Own List Processor

Your own address list program can follow a similar procedure. With a program built specifically for your system and workflow, you can be free of the need for tedious copying and pasting, and manually saving files. In the browser, copy and paste is the only way to save files due to security restrictions that prevent web pages from writing to your file system. Using a script or program outside of the browser will also allow you to process very large lists, whereas the browser will probably choke on lists larger than about 50,000 lines (exact count depends on your specific system, browser, and file).

Our API can support multiple concurrent requests from each client, so feel free to parallelize if your network can handle the load and your program is thread-safe. See our Best Practices page for more information about optimizing your use of our service.

As you can see, our address verification API is a powerful service that can be utilized by other programs and applications, including your own. How you choose to implement it is up to you. We work hard to keep our API online and fast, and we promise that you'll be happy with it!