In his new book, Beginning Spatial with SQL Server 2008, Alastair Aitchison describes how to create a new CLR-based geocoding T-SQL function utilizing the MapPoint Web Service.  Additionally, there is an SSIS-based MapPoint Batch Geocoder for SQL Server 2008 which also uses the MapPoint Web Service. The MapPoint Web Service, as the name implies, requires an Internet connection.  But, what if your SQL Server 2008 instance is not connected to the Internet? Yuri Software has a server-based offering, which allows an address geocoding server to be configured for your intranet environment.  This service, YAddress, offers US-based address geocoding and address data cleansing (address correction, validation and standardization) without the need for an Internet connection.

Yuri Software has created two SQL Server-compatible geocoding functions which have been released on CodePlex.  In order to make these functions usable in a test environment, Yuri Software has create a web service to which these functions connect.  In a production environment, a high performance local YAddress server would be used. Each of these functions is described, below, along with simple T-SQL coding examples.

ProcessAddress

The ProcessAddress function is the first of the YAddress geocoding implementations for SQL Server.  Executing the following T-SQL illustrates the values returned by YAddress:

SELECT * FROM ProcessAddress('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')

ErrorCode:      0 
ErrorMessage: 
AddressLine1:   3641 MT DIABLO BLVD
AddressLine2:   LAFAYETTE, CA 94549-9998
Number:         3641
PreDir:
Street:         MT DIABLO
Suffix:         BLVD
PostDir:
Sec:
SecNumber:
City:           LAFAYETTE   
State:          CA   
Zip:            94549   
Zip4:           9998
County:         CONTRA COSTA   
CountyFP:       06-013
Latitude:       37.891068
Longitude:      -122.126023
PreciseGeocode: 1

Since this function returns a latitude and longitude value as floating point numbers, it is compatible with both SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.

Let's use SQL Server 2008 to construct a geography instance from the latitude and longitude returned from the ProcessAddress function, in this case using the OGC-compliant STGeomFromText() constructor:

DECLARE @lat FLOAT
DECLARE @lon FLOAT
DECLARE @geo GEOGRAPHY
SELECT @lat = latitude, @lon = longitude FROM ProcessAddress('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')
SELECT @geo = GEOGRAPHY::STGeomFromText('Point(' + CAST(@lon AS VARCHAR(32)) + ' ' + CAST(@lat AS VARCHAR(32)) + ')',4326)
SELECT @geo.STAsText()
GO
--POINT (-122.126 37.8911)

While the STGeomFromText() constructor certainly works, it's an effort to construct the Well-Known Text Point string.  Let's construct the T-SQL using the Point() constructor:

DECLARE @lat FLOAT
DECLARE @lon FLOAT
DECLARE @geo GEOGRAPHY
SELECT @lat = latitude, @lon = longitude FROM ProcessAddress('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')
SELECT @geo = GEOGRAPHY::Point(@lat,@lon,4326)
SELECT @geo.STAsText()
GO
--POINT (-122.126023 37.891068)

This construction is certainly much easier and undoubtedly more performant.  But Yuri Software has another trick up their sleeve - a SQL Server 2008-specific function: ProcessAddress2008. 

ProcessAddress2008

ProcessAddress2008() returns a geography instance directly, eliminating the need for the constructor. Here is the full set of data returned from the function:

SELECT * FROM ProcessAddress2008('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')

ErrorCode:      0 
ErrorMessage: 
AddressLine1:   3641 MT DIABLO BLVD
AddressLine2:   LAFAYETTE, CA 94549-9998
Number:         3641
PreDir:
Street:         MT DIABLO
Suffix:         BLVD
PostDir:
Sec:
SecNumber:
City:           LAFAYETTE   
State:          CA   
Zip:            94549   
Zip4:           9998
   
County:         CONTRA COSTA   
CountyFP:       06-013
Location:       0xE6100000010C8D4127840EF24240CEE2C5C210885EC0

PreciseGeocode: 1

The Location field contains an instance of type geography, directly. To show the advantage of this approach, let's construct the same basic query, used in ProcessAddress, above:

DECLARE @geo GEOGRAPHY
SELECT @geo = Location FROM ProcessAddress2008('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')
SELECT @geo.STAsText()
GO
--POINT (-122.126023 37.891068)

We could be even more concise and achieve the same result:

SELECT Location.STAsText() FROM ProcessAddress2008('3641 Mt Diablo Blvd', 'Lafayette, CA')
GO
--POINT (-122.126023 37.891068)

Registering The Function

The last observation surrounds the setup commands used to register the new function with SQL Server.  There are occasions where databases that have been restored from backups do not have the database owner correctly specified.  This issue surfaced while trying to create the assembly from the YAddressSqlFunction.dll:

The database owner SID recorded in the master database differs from the database owner SID recorded in database 'Sample_Zipcodes'. You should correct this situation by resetting the owner of database 'Sample_Zipcodes' using the ALTER AUTHORIZATION statement.
Msg 6582, Level 16, State 1, Procedure ProcessAddress, Line 3
Assembly 'YAddressSqlFunction' is not visible for creating SQL objects. Use ALTER ASSEMBLY to change the assembly visibility.

  In order to ameliorate this issue, use the following stored procedure, setting the database owner to system administrator (sa) before creating the assembly:

sp_changedbowner 'sa'