Suggestion: Support auto-formatting of addresses and phone numbers

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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rbeede
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Suggestion: Support auto-formatting of addresses and phone numbers

Postby rbeede » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:49 am

It'd be nice if a stake could designate that any phone numbers in a membership record in the stake be auto-formatted into ###-###-#### or (###) ###-#### format. It shouldn't require the user to enter in that specific format but just auto-convert it for them.

If a phone number shows up invalid (suppose alphabetic characters appear or it is too short) then the number wouldn't be formatted at all and would show up in the membership audit report as something that needs corrected.


For U.S. addresses it'd be really nice if they could be automatically piped through the USPS web services to standardize the format. This would also provide a way to flag if any of the addresses are invalid in the membership audit report.


Right now I download the CSV, pipe it through a Perl script to format everything (including USPS web service), and have to manually copy and paste corrections into MLS.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:47 am

Yes, this would be nice. The idea has been discussed a few times over the years on this forum. For example:

But I guess the MLS developers never saw those threads, or disagree, or it's a lot harder than we think in a global church, or it just hasn't become a priority.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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nbflint
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Postby nbflint » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:51 am

rbeede wrote:Right now I download the CSV, pipe it through a Perl script to format everything (including USPS web service), and have to manually copy and paste corrections into MLS.


Are you willing to share your perl script? I would find that useful.


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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:37 pm


jwtaber
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Postby jwtaber » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:17 am

rbeede wrote:Right now I download the CSV, pipe it through a Perl script to format everything (including USPS web service), and have to manually copy and paste corrections into MLS.


I find that intriguing to say the least. Does your script have an allowance for those who live in apartments, trailer courts, dormitories, etc.? Many of those members' records in my stake have their address both ways, per the USPS standard, and also with the internal address for their complex. (Or I wish they did - many just have the latter or pieces of the two.)

Maybe this is something the Church could do country-by-country. I don't know if other countries have a site similar to USPS's, other than Canada. (And they have two, one that returns the standard address in English, and one for French.)

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nbflint
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Postby nbflint » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:00 am



Thank you. My intention is to create a macro with Macro Express Pro that would take the output of your script and update MLS.


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rbeede
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Postby rbeede » Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:28 am

The script only considers the primary address and not a mailing address if it exists. Although it could be modified to handle both.

Because the CSV has the entire address in one column instead of split up like in MLS I have to use a library to break up the address on a best guess basis. I then give the split-up fields to the USPS web-site.

If an address couldn't be parsed by the script or the USPS then the output will indicate so for that particular entry.


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