The Experian Electronic Updates ("Electronic Updates") web service is used to download data updates over the internet for use with your Experian on premise applications. This service provides the ability to automate the download of your data and offers you the freedom to own and manage your integration.
Find out more about tokens, Electronic Updates portal and connectivity.
The Electronic Updates web service sample code is available for download at https://github.com/experiandataquality/electronicupdates.
The sample code implements the best practice behaviour referenced below.
There are two stages to interacting with the Electronic Updates web service:
The Electronic Updates web service should be periodically polled for a list of available data. This list includes MD5 hashes, which are used to compare the available data with the data already on your system.
This stage is performed using the Packages method in an HTTP GET request sent to https://ws.updates.qas.com/metadata/V2/packages.
If new data is available, download URIs can be requested from the Electronic Updates web service. Download requests should be made soon after they are received, as the URIs are time-sensitive.
This stage is performed using the FileLink method in an HTTP POST request sent to https://ws.updates.qas.com/metadata/V2/filelink.
Communication with the Electronic Updates web service requires the following:
Communication with the Electronic Updates web service is performed using HTTP requests. Either XML or JSON representation can be used to communicate with the Electronic Updates web service – the content type must be specified in the HTTP request header. Responses will be sent in a format matching the specified content type.
Each request must include your Electronic Updates token. This stage is performed using the token method in an HTTP POST request sent to https://ws.updates.qas.com/metadata/V2/token.
The following is an example of the steps that can take place when checking for and downloading data from the Electronic Updates web service. This is a guide only; the exact procedure will vary depending on your integration.
1. Create an MD5 hash log
MD5 hashes (also known as message digests) are supplied for every data file that is available for download. Once a file has been downloaded, you can calculate the MD5 hash of the received file in order to confirm that the file is not corrupt; you must use your own MD5 checksum utility to do this.
The MD5 hashes used by Electronic Updates are derived from all bytes of the file content. Your MD5 hash calculations should be derived in the same way.
To avoid downloading data you already have, you should compile a log of the MD5 hash of each data file already on your system. To do this, use an MD5 calculation implementation for your programming language or framework.
Note that Experian data files can be very large (often exceeding 500MB) and MD5 hashing such files may be time consuming. You should only need to generate the full log once, and you can keep this up to date as new files are downloaded. See step 7 below for more information.
2. Identify available data
Request a list of available Files from the Electronic Updates web service using the Packages method.
You should repeat this step only when necessary. Data is updated by Experian at set periods – the data update cycle is documented in each Data Guide. You should not call Packages more than once in any three-hour period.
You can also subscribe to an RSS or an Atom feed on the Electronic Updates portal to get notifications of available updates.
3. Evaluate available data
Using information from the Packages response, compare the Md5Hash of each File with that in your MD5 hash log.
4. Request download URI
For each DataFile whose Md5Hash is different to that on your system, request a download URI using the Filelink method.
During periods of high activity, the web service may manage usage by restricting the number of concurrent downloads of certain data files. In this case, a download URI will not be provided. If this happens, you should wait at least three hours before requesting the download URI again.
5. Download new data
Using the download URI provided by the Filelink request, begin downloading your new data. Note that some Files are restricted by geographic location.
Find out more on storing and using the new data.
6. Calculate MD5 hashes
Once you have downloaded a File, you should calculate the MD5 hash of its contents. To do this, use an MD5 calculation implementation provided by your programming language or framework.
You should compare each MD5 hash you calculate with the Md5Hash supplied in the Packages response. If the two hashes are not identical, your downloaded file may be corrupt and should be downloaded again. If the MD5 hashes continue to differ, check that your MD5 hash implementation is integrated correctly.
Keep an up-to-date record of the MD5 hash of each File you download in order to compare them with Md5Hash values in the future.
To avoid errors with your Experian applications, you should follow the following process:
1. Set up a storage location
Datasets that you are licensed to use can be downloaded at any time, and should be stored in a location accessible by your Experian applications. However, data that you download must not overwrite the data currently in use.
Instead, you should create a separate location for new data to be stored. For example, you might choose to regularly create a new location named:
to clearly identify the latest data on your system. The Vintage of each PackageGroup corresponds to the date at which the data was updated by Experian.
2. Download and monitor progress
When new data is available, you should download it to the storage location you set up in step 1.
Before moving on to step 3, you should ensure that all DataFiles within each PackageGroup have downloaded successfully. This is because additional datasets and DataPlus sets can only be used in conjunction with core datasets of the same vintage. Activating data early could render your Experian applications unusable.
For an example HTTP response containing Vintage, DataFile and PackageGroup information, see the REST API on Swagger.
3. Install and activate the data
Once every DataFile within a given PackageGroup has been downloaded, you can install and activate the datasets within your Experian applications.
Installation takes place in an application's configuration file (Qaworld.ini, Qawserve.ini or acserver.ini) and requires that data mappings have been configured – see your product documentation for details. Your Experian applications must be restarted before the new data will become active.
It is possible to automate configuration file changes and application restarts using your own scripts. However, this is not covered in this guide.
4. Delete old data
It is a good idea to clean up old versions of data once you are happy that the new data has downloaded and is working correctly.