Read through our frequently asked questions for a better understanding of what T2A can do and see how to get started. These FAQs are targegeted at a variety of audiences; IT managers and developers should refer to our technical documentation for further guidance on T2A implementation.
What is T2A?
T2A is an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows website and application developers to access our powerful database functionality.
Why is it needed?
T2A has access to millions of database records of people, businesses, addresses and other items. The T2A API allows the use of that data without the need to create your own database.
How do I start?
Register on our site. You will then be able to log in to your control panel in order to access your API key.
What is an API key?
It is a unique identifier that is used to tell T2A who you are. Your API key should not be disclosed to third parties, and should not be included in web pages.
How do I use T2A?
T2A is only accessed through an http or https request. Most methods support GET or POST, so you can easily add the various parameters to the query string. T2A returns either XML, SOAP or JSON. There is a separate SOAP API; XML and JSON are accessed via our REST API.
What is http?
The protocol used to communicate across the Internet. Https is the secure version, used during online banking, for example. A common http request is (in effect) "show me google.com".
What is XML?
A text language that allows computers to talk to each other, but in a human-readable format.
What is SOAP?
SOAP is an extension to XML that very easily allows supporting development environments (such as Microsoft Visual Studio) to connect to web services such as T2A. It is simply a means by which to use T2A.
What is JSON?
It's similar to XML except that the structure is more compact and therefore quicker to send and receive. It is mainly used by websites when they need to refresh a portion of a page without changing the entire page. In T2A it sits beside XML as a direct alternative. Many developers use JQuery to access T2A.
What is GET and POST?
The means by which to communicate with T2A via http. POST can send more data in the request than GET.
What language can I work in?
Virtually anything. If you can send an http request and then process the XML (or JSON) that is returned, you can use T2A. Examples include PHP, JSP, classic ASP, and JQuery.
How fast is it?
Most methods return a result in less than a second. Using a method that returns a larger result set will take longer (as our server sends the resuls back to you. Large results are normally returned in small blocks (such as a page of 10 results), for that reason.
How reliable is it?
Our ISP promises 99.99% uptime but we also offer an independent backup server site, should the main server site be unavailable.
Is it easy to use?
We think so. It was designed and created by engineers familiar with some terrible APIs (that we cannot name) which are poorly documented and poorly implemented. T2A is designed to be easy to invoke, and returns simple XML or JSON.
Are there any code examples?
On the T2A site there are some basic code examples showing the use of a method in PHP and JQuery.
Why don't you support POST of an XML document, as some other APIs do?
We offer a much simpler mechanism, GET and POST parameters.None of our methods need a complicated XML input.
What about security?
You can specify one or more IP addresses from which your T2A http requests will originate; your server(s). You may optionally choose to protect your requests and responses from possible snoopers by using our secure https service.
How secure is your https site?
Very good. The popular SSL labs test of secure sites gives us a rating of 'A'. We will continue to support TLS 1.0 to ensure connectivity from some older web clients.
What about security when I'm calling T2A from my web page?
Can I use a proxy server?
Why don't you support plain text http username and password authentication?
That is very insecure and inefficient.
What is a "web client"?
Just another term for a web browser, such as Chrome, Internet Exlorer and Firefox.
How do I pay?
T2A operates on a prepayment basis (similar to a pay as you go mobile phone). Invoiced accounts are also available on request.
How long do my credits last?
What if I run out of credits?
We send automated email warnings when your account is running low.