IDEAlliance Launches New Mail.dat User License Code ProgramJanuary 28, 2013
ALEXANDRIA, VA—January 28, 2013—IDEAlliance has announced a revision in its popular Mail.dat User License Code program that will substantially reduce the fees paid by mail preparers and facilitate the transition to electronic postage payment. The Mail.dat specification specifies a User License Code to accompany files for the purpose of uniquely identifying the sender through the postal supply chain. The Mail.dat specification, and the software infrastructure upon which it’s built, defines mail preparation today and is developed and maintained by IDEAlliance, a non-profit industry association, in cooperation with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
In January 2013, IDEAlliance undertook a program to reduce the cost of User License Codes by providing the codes seamlessly through mail preparation software. Under the new program, IDEAlliance will now provide Mail.dat User License Codes through Royalty License Agreements with participating software providers.
“IDEAlliance is responding to the needs of the industry to more widely distribute Mail.dat User License Codes,” said Christopher Lien, director, IDEAlliance, and vice president of software marketing, Bell and Howell. “At the same time, mailing software developers from across the industry are stepping up to annually fund the development of Mail.dat and Mail.XML through a royalty license. We support IDEAlliance as the independent body that works cooperatively across the industry with the US Postal Service to create the standards of the future.”
As a benefit to participating in the program, mailing software developers will be authorized to provide User License Codes directly to their customers as part of their Mail.dat generating and editing solutions. Organizations can still purchase separate User License Codes directly from IDEAlliance at a nominal fee.
Under the program IDEAlliance will be enforcing its rights under its trademark to insure compliance. Under the new program for the distribution of Mail.dat User License Codes, IDEAlliance will provide Royalty License Agreements in three categories:
- Specification Originator/Modifier: Principally develops and licenses user access to software that creates an originating Mail.dat and/or Mail.XML file/message set, i.e., one that is constructed using detailed information and postal sorting results not derived from existing Mail.dat/Mail.XML files, and openly advertises Mail.dat/Mail.XML support as a benefit.
- Specification Modifier: Principally develops and licenses user access to software that modifies the content or enhances the structure of existing Mail.dat and/or Mail.XML file/message sets and openly advertises Mail.dat/Mail.XML editing capabilities as a benefit.
- Specification Dependent: Offers services dependent upon or substantially enhanced by Mail.dat/Mail.XML files and either requires Mail.dat files or Mail.XML to perform the service or offers a tangible advantage via the specification.
“Each year IDEAlliance funds nearly $100,000 for the ongoing development and maintenance of the specifications that support the efficient print distribution of our members,” noted David Steinhardt, president and CEO, IDEAlliance. “IDEAlliance sought the support of the mailing software developers’ community for a new model to fund the development of Mail.dat and Mail.XML. The Mailing Software Developers Group stepped up and responded and are being Good Citizens to fund an industry-wide standards development process that is key to the mailstream.”
For more information go to: www.idealliance.org/specifications/maildat
About Mail.dat & Mail.XML
Mail.dat began in 1990 with the introduction of the Production Container Summary File and expanded to contain all the details of a mailing with the publication of the first specification in 1995. Over the past 23 years mail preparers, software developers, and the U.S. Postal Service have developed an entire mailstream ecosystem upon Mail.dat. Mail preparation tools across the industry, including the USPS PostalOne! system, utilize the specification to create a playing field for all mail partners and speed mail make-up data to the U.S. Postal Service. In 2008, Mail.dat was adopted as an XML-based business transaction framework called Mail.XML. Mail.dat and Mail.XML have been developed by IDEAlliance, a non-profit industry association, providing an open forum for users to develop and maintain the specifications in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service.
IDEAlliance (International Digital Enterprise Alliance) is a global community of content and media creators, and their service providers, material suppliers, and technology partners. The Association identifies best practices for efficient end-to-end digital media workflows—from content creation through delivery. Through its active committees, educational conferences, webinars, training and certification programs, IDEAlliance provides its members the forum for the exchange of information that results in the creation of the media production industry’s most valued standards.