HOW TO: Receive notifications of feed changes

In addition to the retrieval of records and objects, RETS servers provide an extensive section of metadata descriptions that can help describe the types of information you’re allowed to retrieve including data categories, field descriptions, field types, field lengths, lists of values allowed in particular fields, etc. This metadata is generated and delivered by the RETS server and provides you with a view of how various aspect of an MLS’s data structures are configured.

From time to time, an MLS may choose to make changes to their data formats in order to better serve the needs of their members. For example, an MLS may choose to add new fields that provide more details about a particular listing. When changes like this are made, the RETS metadata is automatically adjusted as necessary.

MLS’s using flexmls Web have access to extensive controls that can impact how data is represented and delivered. When an MLS is aware of how a change will impact third parties pulling data through RETS, they’ll often send announcements ahead of time introducing the change so all data recipients can prepare. However, it’s often the case that the overall impact of a particular change isn’t completely known.

Because some metadata changes can be disruptive to outside users pulling and processing this data, we have a system in place which can detect and notify you of any changes detected. In order to receive these notifications, you’ll need to subscribe to the following RSS feed:

The above RSS feeds the use of authentication in order to view it’s contents. By using your RETS username and password, our system is able to specifically target messages to you based on what your account has access to see. This process compares differences between metadata dumps every few hours and can help you with learning or troubleshooting possible changes to what you have access to see and use.

Alternatively, we also have a public (no authentication required) feed that includes some of the more general announcements that impact all users of our system. If you’re already subscribed to the private feed above, these announcements are already included there.