Best Practices#

Accessing Melissa Data cloud services and staying up to date#

Melissa Data Cloud Services are authenticated using a License Key. The License Key is provided to you by your customer service representative or through an automatically generated email after signing up for a promotional demo.

Due to the nature of our business and our commitment to improving our services, sometimes there will be changes. We strongly recommend you create an email distribution group address for several technical users in your organization, that will be responsible for consuming our services, and convey that email address to your Melissa Data customer service representative. This email address will be used in case we need to notify you of upcoming change either to the service, the data or the network infrastructure. Also kindly add melissadata.com to your domain whitelist so this vital communication is not blocked.

Single Record vs Batch Processing#

Melissa Data cloud services are capable of both single record real-time processing and batch processing. The difference is simply in the number of records sent in each request. Melissa Data cloud services take an array of records. This array can contain a single record or 100 records. For a real time process like a web form entry or a call center application, send in a request with one record. For batch processing scenario like a database, send requests of up to 100 records until all the records are processed.

Error Handling#

Since Melissa Data uses multiple clustered servers, in the unlikely event that one server is temporarily overloaded or down, it is very likely that another server is up and running. For this reason, it is best to catch any errors returned by the service and retry. We recommend retrying up to 5 times.

int Retry = 0;
bool ReqRet = false;
        // Perform Phone Lookup and store results to the Response
        ResPhone = PhoneClient.doPhoneCheck(ReqPhone);
        ReqRet = true;
    catch (Exception ex)
} while ((ReqRet == false) && (Retry < 5));

Network Layer Considerations#


Melissa Data uses the default ports of 80 for http and 443 for https.

Using Specific IP’s#

Melissa Data does not allow you to access our services using direct IP addresses. We have multiple server clusters and use a load balancing system to distribute incoming traffic. To update our servers, we have to periodically need to take them down and redistribute traffic to available servers.


To update a server, we take it off of our load balancer and let it drain of traffic. Then, we stop the cloud service and update the server. People accessing the service using our domain name will automatically be directed to available servers only. However, if your DNS caches the resolved IP address for a significant length of time, it is possible the cached server will be down when you try to hit it. For this reason, if you have access to your DNS TTL (time to live) option, please set it to a value of 10 minutes or less.

Speed Considerations#

If speed is a top concern for you, there are a few strategies that can be employed to increase the normal speed of using the service. They are ranked in terms of least effective to most effective.

Use batch instead of single#

Processing 100 records at a time will always have a faster per record speed than a single record.

Order by Zip code#

Ordering the records by zip code within each request can have a small increase the speed of the request.


For our services that allow GZip compression, turning it on can have up to a 10% increase in speed. GZip is usually built into a programming language and turned on simply by a flag.

Contact Verification Server#

For our enterprise customers with speed and/or privacy concerns, we can make available a local server hosting our cloud services. This server is dedicated to you so that you are not sharing server resources with anyone else. Additionally, since the server is located within your organization, the data does not have to travel over long distances. Also, authentication is turned off to further increase speed. Contact your sales representative if you are interested in this solution.

Understanding the different protocols REST vs JSON#


JSON is a HTTP POST call that uses the JSON format for the request and response.


REST is a HTTP GET call. This allows you to quickly formulate a call within the URL and submit it through a browser. An example of a REST call:


The returned response is in XML. Only one record can use sent using a REST call so it is ideal for real time single record processing.

Reporting Errors#

If you are experiencing errors trying to connect to our cloud services or interruptions to the service, you can:

  1. Submit a support ticket at support.melissadata.com.

  2. Call Tech Support at 1-800-800-6245 ext 4.

If you are experiencing a sudden loss of service, please be ready to provide us with as much of the following pieces of information so that we can assist you promptly and investigate thoroughly.

  • Your License Key

  • The location of your server accessing the cloud service

  • The URL of the cloud service you are using

  • The type of error you are experiencing in detail

  • Any error messages or logs you may have

  • Date and time of occurrences

  • Behavior of the incidents (is it all the time or periodic. If peridoc, what percentage of requests are affect).

  • What is your IP Address?

  • Are you using a proxy or firewall?

  • Any other information you think may be relevant