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Thread: Import MLS IDX format

  1. #1
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    My understanding is that Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are making their data available in Internet Data Exchange (IDX) format - what ever that is. Clients will get tired of inputing basically the same information into the MLS system as they enter into Open-Realty. Also, at some point, MLS systems could make a public version available and impact our services.

    Being able to import information from the MLS system using an IDX export or other means to Open-Realty would seem to be a great service for us to offer and may head off other approaches that do not require data entry.

    Anyone else have any information or interest in importing MLS data?

  2. #2
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    Hi,

    Here is what i understand about IDX. The National Association of Realtors said that by Jan 1 2002 all MLS services must provide their participants the ability to display other participants listings on a website, using IDX. IDX from my understanding is just a generic term, there is no IDX file format. Participants to the MLS must be given the option to opt out of being listed, and those who opt out can not be allowed to display other agents listings. Every MLS service providers seems to have come up with a different way of providing the IDX data, whether they are providing a db dump or just allowing Realtors to display a IDX page on there public server in a framed page from the Realtors' website. Making Open-realty talk to all the different MLS systems is from what i can see next to impossible with a standard format. Here are some links below on IDX, if anyone has more information to offer on this, please do.


    http://www.reasi.com/idx/POLICY.htm
    http://www.crt.realtors.org/document...udies_Rev1.pdf
    http://www.msrealtors.org/frd/pdf/IDX.pdf

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the links and information. I generally, the thinking seems to be to use IDX to display listings from other brokers and indeed that could be a powerful feature.

    However, we were coming at this from the other side. The ability to import IDX format, might allow us to eliminate double work to input very similar information into MLS and then again into OpenRealty. As long as the double work issue exists, I think we have exposure to MLS systems offering a service to display public information based on MLS number.

    Of course the potential also exists to have Open-Realty feed MLS, but we were not sure how to do that with the MLS data files on the office PC's.

    Good to have others to discuss ideas. 8)
    Dave

  4. #4
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    I am having the same issue. My clients have to fill out a 5 page application for each home listed in MLS, then they have to enter into their website. Double work. They also want to be able to have viewers search for homes other than their personal listings, so they may become the home buyers buying agent.

    I am curious to know if we can request MLS info somehow to be imported in.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    What MLS Systems are being used? I think most of this is going to be system specific, not that it can't be done, just more work. Maybe if we can figure out hte most widely used systems we can stat talking to the vendors about a data transfer utility, etc..

  6. #6
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    Somehow my initial inquiries here, at other web sites and with a local MLS (not Denver) has been missing the target that I'm looking for. I still don't have a clue as to what type of file format to expect. Doesn't someone have a sample file specification for a IDX file implimentation? Are these going to be flat file csv files or a version of XML output?

    At this point the local MLS is not willing to release file specifications, files or any documentation even in beta mode, yet they say thay are looking for a January implimentation. I'm looking to stay competitive against other local hotshots.

    The MLS did say that they will not split out individual broker files and will require that the entire database be downloaded at least every 7 days. Information will contain pictures.... interesting.

    Anybody seen any file specs or test files? :shock: :shock: (deer in the headlights)

  7. #7
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    Dave,

    My under standing, from what i have read, and i would love someone to prove me wrong on this, is that there is no IDX file Format. IDX is just a generic term made up by the NAR, to define the concept of being able to display listings from a MLS system on a agency website. My usnderstanding is that this can be provided in any number of ways, wehter the MLS just provides a page that you can display framed on your own webiste, that contains listings, or they can provide the data in some other format, like a mysql dump of CSV file. Anyways that is my understand of IDX.

  8. #8
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    Perhaps I can shed some light on this issue. I found Open Realty while researching IDX as I’m right in the middle of an implementation. IDX is not a format; it simply stands for internet data exchange. Our MLS provider (RISCO) is providing the data as several tab delineated text files and several image files. All of the files are compressed and available only via FTP. It is horrible! They are providing no assistance in implementing an IDX solution. Right now I have a bid request on Rent-A-Coder for a solution. The searchable front end is not the problem, I could muddle my way through that, it is the data handling that is proving to be a problem. The data must be downloaded, decompressed, formatted into a database and be updated to the working database, all automatically. If I did not know better (and I don’t) I’d say that RISCO has purposely made it as difficult as possible within the limits of the law.
    As I said I found Open Realty and thought that it might be a working solution for the interim if I manually inserted the data. Unfortunately I can’t get it to work. I just get line after line of “Notice: Use of undefined constant version - assumed 'version' in c:\inetpub\wwwroot\open-realty\include\common.php on line 15”. It then continues with every line in every *.php file. I’m on a Windows machine with IIS and I believe that it is a permissions problem. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Phil Adkins



  9. #9
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    I don't know anything about IIS, but we may really have an undefined constant or variable "version". You might try defining it as "unknown". and see if this helps.

    In know on my windows PC running apache that I had lots of trouble with undefined variables until I changed the error reporting level in the php.ini file in the windows directory.

    Hope this helps.
    Dave

  10. #10
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    I have over 40 websites currently running MLS IDX Interface. The interface is a split frame. Top Frame can be a banner or any html page. For the bottom frame I used and called for a jump.pl script that asks for the IDX Realtor ID from marketlinx. That query has to be sent from the server IP that was registered with MLS when the realtor sent in their information packet. That is MLS's way of security. So you dont have a free aol website and call in your MLS listings. I charge $300 to install IDX. Flat File websites can use iframing to interface their IDX Listings.

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