Tools and Services FAQ

This FAQ explains some general terms and ideas you might have seen mentioned on the website.

Google Maps - is the web mapping service provided by Google.
web scripts - files that run on a web server provide useful functionality such as distance calculators, route planner, delivery charge quoters etc.
web service - a system designed to support interaction over the internet (via HTTP) i.e. your website makes an HTTP request to use the postcode data / distance data / place name data etc that is stored on our server, if accepted, the requested information is returned via XML.
API - stands for 'application programming interface' and is a set of functions / methods/ classes etc that our web service provides to support requests made by external websites / software applications.
URL - Uniform Resource Locator means a web address e.g.
XML - stands for eXtensible Markup Language and is the way that postcode / distance data etc are returned from our server for users of our web service.
postcode data - the postcodes themselves / distance between postcodes / places corresponding postcodes etc. This data can be stored / supplied in a number of different formats e.g. as a CSV file, MySQL database, MSSQL database, SQL file, XML, Access MDB file, XLS Excel Spreadsheet etc.
CSV - stands for 'comma separated values' and is a simple / common text-based file format for storing data.
SQL - stands for 'structured query language' is a database language for the retrieval and management of data in relational databases such as the free MySQL and Microsoft's MSSQL.

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