Dun & Bradstreet is so 1990s

by brian d foy

Dun & Bradstreet is a third-party information source about companies and businesses. I can verify information about other businesses (i.e., that they actually exist), and other businesses can do the same for me.

I checked on the Dun & Bradstreet report for Stonehenge Consulting Service today, and some of the information is a bit dated, so I wanted to update it. I haven't done that for Stonehenge before, so I had to add myself as an authorized person. That's no big deal.

But I can't. I try to fill out their "User Identification" form, but I get some sort of Microsoft error. I'm only submitting very basic information, so why does it need to do fancy processing? Do that stuff somewhere else, but let me give you my information. You have to manually verify it anyway (or you'd better, but that's a different problem).

Active Server Pages error '8002802b'
Create object failed
An error occurred while creating object 'sockICW'.
Microsoft JScript runtime error '800a01ad'
Automation server can't create object
/product/eupdate/eupdate.asp, line 289

I reply to customer service that I get some odd error. I don't say much:

On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 customerservice@dnb.com wrote:

> https://www.dnb.com/product/eupdate/update1.html

When I submit this form, I get a web server error. Is there another way I
can submit this information?

The answer I get back tells me that I'm not supposed to use their website unless I'm on Windows and using Internet Explorer. I'm using Firefox on Mac OS X. I would show you the whole email in all of its weird "English as a second language" goodness, but I can't (well, shouldn't). I didn't realize there were people who were recommending browsers. That's so 1990s.

All platform-advocacy issues aside, remember what I'm doing. I'm just submitting a form with my name and company information. It doesn't update anything and they have to look at it to decide if I'm who I say I am. It shouldn't change anything. Why would I need to use any particular operating system or browser to do that? Just what is Dun & Bradstreet doing that requires ASP, JScript, or anything else exotic?

What's the real story here? Did they get trapped by some vendor who can only handle Windows? Or does it relate to something else?

Poking around, I did find some interesting Javascript, but not anything too worrisome. Besides the basic form validation stuff, they use something from Coremetrics. If you look at the Javascript file, you'll see a lot of stuff tracking how much time I take to do things. That doesn't really worry me that much, but it is pretty stupid. Don't look at the code because it's patent pending (unfortunately, the USPTO only shows applications back to 2001, and no results for patents issued to Coremetrics).

<script language="Javascript1.1" src="coremetrics/v25/cm.js"></script>

<script language="Javascript1.1">
/* Data Collection JavaScript v.2.5, 06/26/2001
if (cmSiteUp == "Y") {
CM_Param("pn","eUpdate:update1"); //unique name for page
imgReq = CM_BuildTag("C",1,1,1);

And hey, look at that date. It's 2006 fellas, so how about some Firefox support?


2006-02-10 13:49:26
State Farm too
I finally gave up on statefarm.com for the same reason. Their support for Mac browsers (Safari and Firefox are the two I use) is inconsistent to say the least. It's not all bad though - I pay a lot of other bills (too many!) online from my Macs just fine.
2006-02-13 13:32:54
Who goes there?
The Opera (http://www.opera.com/) browser is available for the Mac and will allow you to identify it as Internet Explorer 6.0...