About this Documentation

The D&B Direct 2.0 API Reference materials are organized into product, feature, service and operation pages. Throughout the documentation, certain items are marked as eligible for custom products and/or for inclusion in the monitoring process.

Key Concepts

Business Elements vs. Data Fields

The D&B Direct API has been designed to efficiently deliver information, and as a result, multiple business elements are often delivered in the same data field (with separate attributes signaling the specific contents of a data field).

The documentation highlights the business elements (i.e. business-oriented labels) on product pages; and the data fields (i.e. technical, variable-like names used within the delivery packages) on operation pages -- with the business elements linked to the corresponding data field for each available implementation.

Data Layers

The D&B Direct API delivers information in data layers, some of which have multiple levels. For the purpose of this documentation, the term Product is used to represent a given level for a data layer.

For example, "Detailed Company Profile" is the Data Layer, while "Detailed Company Profile - Enhanced" will be referred to as a Product.

Custom Products

D&B Direct offers a customization service that allows for up to eight pre-configured products to be delivered through the API web service. Throughout the documentation, business elements and data fields which are eligible for inclusion in a custom product are designated with a [C] marker.

Monitoring Events

For customers who would like to keep abreast of ongoing changes to data fields for specific companies, a monitoring service is available. Throughout the documentation, business elements and data fields which are eligible for inclusion in a custom product are designated with a [M] marker.

Service Versions

It is important to note that D&B Direct 2.x implements version control at the service level, in addition to the API level. For example, the current version of the Assessment Product Service is Version 2.0 (API) / 3.0 (Service).

D&B Direct services will be updated (major and minor version changes) without a API version change. Following the example given, it will be possible for the Assessment Product Service to change to Version 2.0 (API) / 3.1 (Service) or Version 2.0 (API) / 4.0 (Service) based on the significance of the changes made to the service.

Product Pages

These are non-technical pages that describe the information (i.e. business elements) returned by the data-oriented operations. In addition, the requirements and options for requesting data are mentioned.

Feature Pages

These are also non-technical pages, but explain the use of operations that provide a function (e.g. search) and often return the items (i.e. D-U-N-S Number) required to request data products.

Service Pages

These are technical pages that explain what operations a given API web service provides, the correct version and endpoints, WSDL location (for SOAP), and how to download samples and data dictionaries specific to the service. While services are not applicable for REST implementations, the documentation is organized around them for consistency.

Operation Pages

These are also technical pages, but describe (for each available implementation method) the individual functions provided by a service, listing the input field names and requirements, and the output with data fields (including data type, size, description and possible values).

Release Histories

Whenever an operation is enhanced (or a minor correction is made), a notation will be added to a section on the bottom of the affected SOAP/REST operation page. If the change is significant and results in a version change, the release history will maintain a link to the documentation for the previous version(s).

Getting Started

While the API Reference documentation provides extensive details on each operation and data layer, for more summarized explanations of common tasks/uses refer to the collection of How To Guides.

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