The Rate Upload functionality is a powerful and flexible tool that allows you to save time while uploading new rates to the tariffs. Let’s take a practical example of the rate upload procedure: vendors send you their rates and you have to enter this data into the system. Obviously, regardless of the particular numbering plans, formats, and other options, this data has to be in the unified format used in PortaBilling. Some vendors use Microsoft Excel, others text-based formats (for example, .csv). Even if the same format is used, there will be different ways of positioning and formatting the data. For example, vendor A might have the phone prefix for the Czech Republic in the first column in his data file, entered as 420. Vendor B might have it in column number three, entered as 011420.
Of course, it is possible to write an external tool that would convert data files from these different formats into a common one. However, this would require some extra steps in data processing, so that every time you upload rates from a vendor you will have to perform a conversion first. In addition, this will probably involve extra costs, since not all users are capable of writing the required data conversion application.
This is why PortaBilling has chosen a different approach. Instead of making your data fit PortaBilling, you can make PortaBilling understand and process your data as is! The PortaBilling rate upload wizard and templates allow you to do the following:
- Upload your .xls or .csv rate file to the server and immediately see the result of file processing (in order to verify that the file was recognized correctly, and to adjust parameters such as the field delimiter).
- Using a drag-and-drop interface, you can place markers on columns in the file to identify where particular groups of data are located in it (e.g., the destination prefix in the third column, and the price in the fifth column). In fact, the rate upload wizard will try to automatically recognize data elements, so most of the time you will only need to confirm the proposed column assignment.
- You can adjust the format which each data element is in (for example, whether the phone prefix is given as 011420 or as 420). You can also apply post-processing rules (analogous to formulas in spreadsheet editors).
- The upload wizard will process all the rate information and allow you to compare new rates with the existing rates and make adjustments if necessary.
- If there are new destination prefixes in the file (not in the database yet), they can be created automatically during rate upload. Also, you can assign new prefixes to specific destination groups during the upload process.
- Once the new rates are uploaded into the system, PortaBilling saves all of your changes as a template associated with this tariff. Thus, the next time you receive a new file from the vendor and need to upload it, everything is ready and no special actions are required.
With Rate Upload functionality you save time while uploading new rates to the tariffs. This is achieved by saving all of the steps performed as a template associated with this tariff that can be used later on during subsequent rate uploads. Fewer errors occur while uploading rates with the help of the Rate Upload wizard since all processing and conversion is visible and controlled by the user.