REVIEWER: Scott Campbell, VP of Operations for Equipment Data Associates.

BACKGROUND: Charlotte, NC-based Equipment Data Associates (EDA) specializes in providing database marketing services to the capital goods industry. These services include providing sales leads, market share reports and Web-based query and reporting tools. EDA also provides consulting services in the areas of database management and data hygiene, including merge purge. Melissa Data's MatchUp application (formerly known as Double Take III) allows EDA to compare multiple lists of data simultaneously, eliminating duplicates and forming distinct high quality mailing lists for internal and external customers.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Windows environment as a desktop application and the API version with a SQL Server Web-based application, Rainmaker.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Before incorporating MatchUp in our operation in 1999, we used in-house software and some canned packages to compare lists from different sources with a poor, somewhat labor-intensive result. After purchasing the product, we were easily able to compare multiple tables to one another simultaneously in all popular formats, including Excel, Access, dBase, FoxPro, SQL Server and different forms of text files. The comparisons were extremely accurate, eliminating hundreds of man-hours per month in labor, while improving our accuracy rate as part of the automated process.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: MatchUp is very robust and simple to use. A GUI dashboard walks the user through the setup process. During the setup, the user has the opportunity to choose up to 512 files to compare, map equivalent field names to one another, choose or create different match code definitions and specify the post-match output type and location. Although EDA's primary use of MatchUp has been in the merge/purge area, the software also includes the functionality to update one file from another based upon a primary key, purge duplicates from a single file, split a single table into several to form a relational database, and to perform CASS and DPV certification with the Melissa Data add-in module.

STRENGTHS: Our company has been impressed by the speed with which MatchUp compares files to one another. The setup process is easy to learn, and the program gives the user a lot of flexibility in how files are to be compared, for example, by address, company name, phone number, contact names or any combination of fields. Flexible match codes and fuzzy logic allow MatchUp to leverage virtually any field comparison strategy imaginable by the user. MatchUp also allows users to modify files while in use, making it unnecessary to open a table in another application for field name changes or changes in width or data type. MatchUp also offers excellent help functionality, with easy-to-find detail.

WEAKNESSES: The software is a little slow when 3 million records are exceeded, as one of the source tables and the 32-bit software needs to be upgraded to a 64 bit for newer operating systems, which Melissa Data is in the process of doing.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected MatchUp after comparing it to demo copies of several competing products. MatchUp was a better value and included easy-to-learn functionality, while remaining more robust than other comparable software. We were also impressed by the excellent documentation that comes with the software and the very responsive support provided by Melissa Data via email and telephone.

DELIVERABLES: EDA is able to provide highly accurate lists of duplicate-free records to its internal and external customers using the software. Over the past eight years, our company has never had a single complaint about a poor match or duplicate records from any task performed using MatchUp. The software easily exports to any of the popular file formats currently in use and also has an excellent reporting feature that summarizes file comparison results, so even novice users can easily understand them.

VENDOR SUPPORT: We have received excellent support from Melissa Data. Their staff is experienced and always ready to answer any questions our users may have.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is very comprehensive and well written. Graphics and screenshots are used throughout the manual to make it easy for the user to understand. The documentation is well organized, allowing the new user to get up to speed quickly.

Melissa Data Corp.
22382 Avenida Empresa
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(949) 589-5200

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