USPS Data Release Schedule (2011-2012)
As we have mentioned in past e-tips, there is a host of data resources from the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) which need to be updated periodically to reflect changes. Examples of these data resources are the Labeling Lists, Facility Access and Shipment Tracking (FAST) data files, Mail.dat specifications, PostalOne! specifications and software and on and on and on. In the past, the updates to these various data resources were not always coordinated, which caused confusion about conflicting information and often caused additional work and rushed deadlines for the mailing industry to incorporate the changes into their various systems. Thankfully, the USPS, working with the mailing industry, has come up with a more coordinated method of updating this information, including a published schedule for the updates.
Address Management/Operations File Updates
For the data that is used for address management and postal operations, there will be six scheduled update releases per year. Data included in this category are the City/State files, Labeling Lists, the Mail Direction files (used for drop ship re-directions), and the Zone Matrix. The table below shows the current release schedule.
Mail.dat and PostalOne! Specifications
The updates for Mail.dat specifications as well as PostalOne! specifications and software updates will now be on a schedule of four times annually; two major changes and two minor changes. This does not include any emergency changes that might be necessary during the course of a year. The table below shows the published schedule for the remainder of 2011 and 2012.
USPS support of Mail.dat and Mail.XML versions
Mailers are often confused by which Mail.dat and Mail.XML versions are supported by the USPS - and for how long. The USPS also published this information on their RIBBS web site.
Automatic Postal Data Updates System
In addition to updating our software to be compliant with all the postal regulation and price changes, as well as the IDEAlliance Mail.dat and Mail.XML specifications, Window Book also provides access to updated Labeling Lists, destination data, and FAST re-direction data. And we have an automated method to update all of this information in your software. Once you have this FREE add-on tool installed with your DAT-MAIL software, you no longer have to remember to check for Labeling List or other USPS data updates, nor do you have to perform manual downloads because it will automatically be taken care of for you! You can just set it and forget it! This feature will become extremely important for the remainder of 2011 and all of 2012 as the USPS undergoes their proposed Network Optimization Plan.
Check with your friendly neighborhood Window Book Technical Support Rep to find out how to install and use this fantastic piece of technology!
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