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    Postcode finder using data supplied by royal mail
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Postcode Programming API  Getting Full address finder using the .Net Assembly


Full Address Search functionality:

  • User enters postcode
  • Postcode Software displays a list of addresses
  • Address is selected by user.
  • Full address returned to user within software

When using the .Net Assembly, to search by Postcode to get Full address, we have two choices of implementation:

Note: the .Net Assembly is for desktop applications compiled to 32 bits. It will run fine on 64 bit machines, but will not support an application compiled to 64 bits, as it uses Microsoft MDAC which does not support 64 bits.


Getting Full address using the .Net Assembly User Interface


Step 1 Sign up for trial

Simply use the "Sign Up for Trial" link at top right of this page to open a trial account.   We will then send you a data key, which is used to identify your account, when using the following service.

Step 2 Download .Net Assembly

The .NET Assembly is for use with any Desktop .NET project.  It is written in Framework V2.0 so compatible with any framework from 2 upwards. It is almost identical to our COM object, but is implemented as a .NET Assembly.  It is therefore easier to distribute within your .NET project, since it requires no extra files.

The .NET Assembly is in the “NET Assembly” directory of our api example code.

Note: the .Net Assembly is for 32bit desktop applications

How to distribute .NET Assembly

Simply include the “ISimplyPostCodeClass.dll” in your application directory.

Step 3 Creating the .NET Assembly

Copy the “ISimplyPostCodeClass.dll” in your application directory, and then add it to your project references. This can be found in the “NET Assembly” directory of our example code.

In C# or VB, simply right click on the project in the Solution Explorer. Select “Add Reference”. On the window that opens, click on the Browser tab. Now find and double click on “ISimplyPostCodeClass.dll” to add reference.

The class constructor takes a parameter of a working directory PATH. This directory is used to store the advanced search data used in combos if used. This must be a valid directory, and have WRITE permissions.

  VB.Net

Public Class Form1
   Public SimplyPostCodeLookup As ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass

Private Sub Form1_Disposed(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Disposed
   SimplyPostCodeLookup = Nothing
End Sub

Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load

   SimplyPostCodeLookup = New ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass(CurDir)


  C# .NET

public partial class Form1 : Form

   private ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass SimplyPostCodeLookup;

private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)

  string workingDirectoryForWorkingFiles = Directory.GetCurrentDirectory();
   SimplyPostCodeLookup = new ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass(workingDirectoryForWorkingFiles);

}

Step 4 Specify the Data Key

The Data Key will have been sent to you via an e-mail when you opened the account. It is also available under the “Data Key” tab of the online admin window.  For the .NET Assembly you should use the data key beginning with "I_".

  VB.Net

SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey(Me.txtDataKey.Text)

  C# .NET

string DataKey="Your Data Key";
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey(ref DataKey);

Optional, set Proxy sever details

A function allows the program to define the proxy settings touse when requesting data from our internet server.

Simply call SetProxy(ProxyAddress, usedID, Password, Domain)

Parameters

Parameter name Description
ProxyAddress As String For example "http://proxy:80/"
usedID As String Username to log in to proxy
Password As String Password to log in to proxy
Domain As String Domain of proxy

  VB.Net

'Set Proxy Server
SimplyPostCodeLookup. SetProxy(”http://proxy:80/”,”Admin”,”Password”,”My Domain”)

  C# .NET

'Set Proxy Server
SimplyPostCodeLookup. SetProxy(”http://proxy:80/”,”Admin”,”Password”,”My Domain”);

Step 5 Call SearchForFullAddressWithDialogue to Present List of addresses at Postcode

Simply call SearchForFullAddressWithDialogue(PostcodePrima, Caption, ShowLicienceDetails, AllowManageAccount, DisplayErrors)

  This call can be used with Local Data or Internet based data. 

This function call will display a dialogue box for the user to enter the postcode to search for, or address words if using Advanced Search (Web Based data only). The user then presses the [FIND] button, and a list of possible addresses is displayed for the entered postcode. The user selects an appropriate address record and the address is returned.

Postcode Lookup Example:

This code displays the following Postcode Address Lookup window:

  VB.Net

'Set Data key, to identify your account
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey("Your Data Key")

With SimplyPostCodeLookup
   If .SearchForFullAddressWithDialogue(Me.txtPostcode.Text, "Get address using simple call to
               .NET Assembly Object", True, True, True)
Then

      Me.CompanyName.text = .Address_Organisation
      Me.Line1.text = .Address_Line1
      Me.Line2.text = .Address_Line2
      Me.Line3.text = .Address_Line3
      Me.Town.text = .Address_Town
      Me.County.text = .Address_County
      Me.Postcode.text = .Address_Postcode

   End If
End With


  C# .NET

//Set Data key, to identify your account
string DataKey;
DataKey = GetDataKey();
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey(ref DataKey);

//This calls the COM object to do all of the work!
string PostCodeToFind = txtPostcode.Text;
string Title = "Get address using simple call to .NET Assembly Object";

if (SimplyPostCodeLookup.SearchForFullAddressWithDialogue(PostCodeToFind, Title, true, true, true) == true)
{
   CompanyName.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Organisation;
   Line1.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line1;
   Line2.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line2;
   Line3.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line3;
   Town.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Town;
   County.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_County;
   Postcode.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Postcode;
}

Using .NET Assembly to provide Address Finder

Advanced Search Example:

This function adds an [Advanced Find] button to the search window provided by SearchForFullAddressWithDialogue call (See previous section). This allows users to enter address words to search for, to return Full address information:

Advanced search using .NET Assembly

When the [Advanced Find] button is pressed the following is displayed:

Advanced postcode search results

Results:

Results of Advanced Postcode Search

  This call can ONLY be used with Internet based data

Step 6 Testing

Final step is to test, to enable easy testing please use our special test postcodes.

Postcode Software Full Address - Example Code 

Simply download the example code.   The code is in the "NET assembly/Csharp NET Assembly Example" or "NET assembly/VB NET Assembly Example" directory of our example downloads.

These two examples demonstrate postcode lookup software using Full Address.

Full Address using the .NET Assembly and implement your own User Interface:


This is a two-step process. First we present a list to the user, then wait for user selection. After selection we retrieve the full address from the database.

Follow steps 1-4 above.

Step 5 Sign up for trial

Simply use the "Sign Up for Trial" link at top right of this page to open a trial account.   We will then send you a data key, which is used to identify your account, when using the following service.

Step 6 Present a list fo addreses from postcode entered

Simply call GetFullAddressToList(Postcode), with the Postcode the user has entered in search box.

  This call can be used with Local Data or Internet based data. 

Parameters

Parameter name Description
Postcode as string Postcode to find. If using our Internet based data, then the user can enter words, and wildcard, to search for address data.

Returns

Returns true if address search completed and General_credits_display_text contains summary of Credits/License status. Else errors reported in General_errormessage

Step 7 Call for each line to display

And then call GetFullAddressLineForSelection() to get each line for list selection for display, discussed in next section.

Example Full Address search code

  VB.Net

'Set Data key, to identify your account
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey(Me.txtDataKey.Text)

Me.ListBox1.Items.Clear()

With SimplyPostCodeLookup

  If .GetFullAddressToList(Me.txtPostcode.Text) Then

   'Make list + Cancel button visible
   Me.ListBox1.Visible = True
   Me.ButCancelSelection.Visible = True

   'Now Populate the List box
   Dim Line$
   Line = .GetFullAddressLineForSelection()
   Do Until Line = ""
     Me.ListBox1.Items.Add(Line)
     Line = .GetFullAddressLineForSelection()
   Loop

  Else
    MsgBox(.General_credits_display_text & vbCrLf & .General_errormessage,
               vbCritical, "Simply Postcode Lookup")

  End If

  Me.Text = "Simply Postcode Lookup : " & .General_credits_display_text

end With


  C# .NET

string DataKey;
DataKey = "Your Data Key"
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey(ref DataKey);

ListBox1.Items.Clear();

string PostCodeToFind = txtPostcode.Text;
if (SimplyPostCodeLookup.GetFullAddressToList(ref PostCodeToFind) == true)
{
   //Make list + Cancel button visible
   ListBox1.Visible = true;
   ButCancelSelection.Visible = true;

   //Now Populate the List box
   string Line="";
   Line = SimplyPostCodeLookup.GetFullAddressLineForSelection();
   while (Line != "")
   {
      ListBox1.Items.Add(Line);
      Line = SimplyPostCodeLookup.GetFullAddressLineForSelection();
   }

} else {
   MessageBox.Show(SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_credits_display_text + " " +
   SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_errormessage, "Simply Postcode Lookup");

}

this.Text = "Simply Postcode Lookup : " +
SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_credits_display_text;



Step 8 Get Address Reord Selected

Now get Address record, when user double clicks on address line in selection box

Calling GetFullAddressRecord(SelectedListIndex as long)

Parameters

Parameter name Description
SelectedListIndex as long The index number of the item selected in the listbox. Zero being the first item on the list

Returns

Returns true if address search completed and General_credits_display_text contains summary of Credits/License status. Else errors reported in General_errormessage

Example get address record

  VB.Net

With SimplyPostCodeLookup
   If .GetFullAddressRecord(Me.ListBox1.SelectedIndex) Then

      Me.CompanyName.text = .Address_Organisation
      Me.Line1.text = .Address_Line1
      Me.Line2.text = .Address_Line2
      Me.Line3.text = .Address_Line3
      Me.Town.text = .Address_Town
      Me.County.text = .Address_County
      Me.Postcode.text = .Address_Postcode

   Else
      MsgBox(.General_credits_display_text & vbCrLf & .General_errormessage,
                  vbCritical, "Simply Postcode Lookup")

   End If

    Me.Text = "Simply Postcode Lookup : " & .General_credits_display_text
End With


  C# .NET

int SelectedIndex=ListBox1.SelectedIndex;
if (SimplyPostCodeLookup.GetFullAddressRecord(ref SelectedIndex)==true)
{
   CompanyName.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Organisation;
   Line1.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line1;     
   Line2.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line2;     
   Line3.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Line3;
   Town.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Town; 
   County.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_County;
   Postcode.text = SimplyPostCodeLookup.Address_Postcode;

} else {
  MessageBox.Show(SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_credits_display_text + " " +
            SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_errormessage, "Simply Postcode Lookup");
}

this.Text = "Simply Postcode Lookup : " +
               SimplyPostCodeLookup.General_credits_display_text;

Step 9 Testing

Final step is to test, to enable easy testing please use our special test postcodes.

Postcode Software - Example Code 

Simply download the example code.   The code is in the "NET assembly/Csharp NET Assembly Example" or "NET assembly/VB NET Assembly Example" directory of our example downloads.

These two examples demonstrate postcode lookup software using Full Address.


Alternative using Address ID:


In the previous two steps we used the NET assembly to remember, in the background, the actual address record IDs used to get the resultant address record.   This makes implementing for traditional desktop software easier.

When implementing for a web site we need to store the actual address ID’s in the combo box we allow the user to select from since we cannot keep the state of the NET Assembly alive between calls from the users web page.   Indeed the SimplyPostCodeLookup object life is only the duration of the address query.

Follow steps 1-4 above.

Step 5 Present a list fo addreses from postcode entered

To obtain the Address ID and the line information, we use:

.GetFullAddressLineForSelectionWithID(ID as string)

Instead of .GetFullAddressLineForSelection()

Example code to get list:

  VB.Net

Dim SimplyPostCodeLookup = New ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass(CurDir)

'Set Data key, to identify your account
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey("Your Data key")

'If using Local Mode data files then the following code sets the PATH.
'SimplyPostCodeLookup.LMSetDataPath(DataPATH)

Dim PostCode$ = "PE13 2QL";
Me.ListAddresses.Items.Clear()

With SimplyPostCodeLookup

  If .GetFullAddressToList(PostCode$) Then

    'Now Populate the List box
   Dim Line$ = "", ID$ = ""
   Line = .GetFullAddressLineForSelectionWithID(ID)

    Do Until Line = ""

      Me.ListAddresses.Items.Add(New ListItem(Line, ID))
      Line = .GetFullAddressLineForSelectionWithID(ID)
    Loop
  Else
    'Display errror
    Me.Label2.Text = .General_credits_display_text & vbCrLf & .General_errormessage
  End If

  If Me.ListAddresses.Items.Count = 0 Then Me.Label1.Text = "Nothing found..."

  Me.Label2.Text = "Simply Postcode Lookup : " & .General_credits_display_text
End With

SimplyPostCodeLookup = Nothing



Step 6 Get Address Reord Selected

Then we need to get the Address record, when user double clicks on address line in selection box.

This time we call GetFullAddressRecordByAddressID(addressID as string)

Parameters

Parameter name Description
addressID as string The Address ID is returned in this string

Returns

Returns true if address search completed and General_credits_display_text contains summary of Credits/License status. Else errors reported in General_errormessage

Example code to get address

  VB.Net

Dim addressID$ = "11570840_0E"

Dim SimplyPostCodeLookup = New ISimplyPostCodeClass.ISimplyPostCodeClass(CurDir)

'Set Data key, to identify your account
SimplyPostCodeLookup.SetDataKey("Your datakey")

'If using Local Mode data files then the following code sets the PATH
'SimplyPostCodeLookup.LMSetDataPath(DataPATH)

Dim DataToDisplay$ = ""

With SimplyPostCodeLookup
   If .GetFullAddressRecordByAddressID(addressID$) Then
      DataToDisplay = "Organistaion:" & .Address_Organisation & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "Line1:" & .Address_Line1 & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "Line2:" & .Address_Line2 & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "Line3:" & .Address_Line3 & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "Town:" & .Address_Town & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "County:" & .Address_County & "<br>"
      DataToDisplay += "Postcode:" & .Address_Postcode & "<br>"
   Else
      'Display error
      MsgBox(.General_credits_display_text & vbCrLf & .General_errormessage,
                     vbCritical, "Simply Postcode Lookup")

   End If

   DataToDisplay += "Simply Postcode Lookup : " & .General_credits_display_text
End With

SimplyPostCodeLookup = Nothing

Step 7 Testing your Address Search Software

Final step is to test, to enable easy testing please use our special test postcodes.

Postcode Software Advanced Search - Example Code 

Simply download the example code.   The code is in the "NET assembly/Csharp NET Assembly Example" or "NET assembly/VB NET Assembly Example" directory of our example downloads.

These two examples demonstrate postcode lookup software using Full Address.


Data Returned:


This type of license returns: (see example below)

Public Address_Id As String  
Public Address_Organisation As String
Public Address_Line1 As String
Public Address_Line2 As String
Public Address_Line3 As String
Public Address_Town As String
Public Address_County As String
Public Address_Postcode As String
Public Address_Country As String


'Note: When using getting Thoroughfare only:
    'Address_Organisation is Not returned
    'Address_Line1 may return road name, but the user must supply the Building 
    'Name/Number in your software, so you will need to prompt them for this data

'Extra Address information contained in PAF data file
Public Address_Deliverypointsuffix As String  ●
Public Address_NoHouseHolds As String   
Public Address_Smallorg As String  
Public Address_PoBox As String  
Public Address_Rawpostcode As String  
Public Address_Mailsort As String
 
Public Address_Unique As String     *
Public Address_UDPRN As String    *
Public Address_Spare As String       *

* = Not available in Local Mode

see Additional Data Returned by Postcode Finder API for more information