MCS, infoUSA Debut Web-Based Database Tools

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Marketing Communication Systems, Ivyland, PA, and the Database America subsidiary of infoUSA, Omaha, NE, this week introduced Web-based tools that enable data to be updated and extracted in real-time.

The Jiffy system from MCS enables users to query up to 16 million database records per second to perform updates, obtain counts and build mailing lists while info-Connect from Database America uses a new merge-purge process to update prospecting databases with transactional data from a variety of sources.

The Jiffy tools are applicable to a mailer's inhouse database, a database maintained by MCS or a third-party data provider that runs on an Oracle, DB2, Sybase, Informix or SQL database platform. In the case of data providers, the tools could query a database prior to purchase.

JiffyCount uses indexes and and/or logic to get counts and assign a count ID based on the user's query specifications. The user then jumps to JiffyList, an ordering form that uses the Jiffy Count ID to drive list order fulfillment over the Web. A third component of the Jiffy line, TableMaster, can isolate records by ZIP code or append records to a database from files that reside on a user's PC.

"This is a high-speed, high-volume query tool,'' said Leon Roomberg, director of database development for MCS. "Most are not focused on dealing with millions of records at a time."

Once lists are created, they can be sent via the Internet for same day production or use by a print shop or outbound call center.

Robin Levine, director of marketing services at CMP Publishing, Manhasset, NY, which has tested the Jiffy systems and will go live with it soon, likes its flexibility and ease of use.

"Anyone can access the database with a security code," Levine said. "Our sales force can use the information to get active subscriber counts and not have to rely on anyone else. It can go across [our] publications and is accessible to the company as a whole."

info-Connect streamlines data updates by replacing the process of sending tapes for monthly or quarterly updating with an Internet feed. Data can be collected from point-of-sale systems, call centers, Web sites or any other contact point with a customer and through a relational database, distributed to all parts of a business that have customer contact.

The service employs matching logic that treats similarly spelled names with the same address, for instance, as the same contact. info-Connect will be first implemented in infoUSA's MarketZone database marketing product.

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