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Connect to AvaTax Data in Ruby

Connect to AvaTax data in Ruby with ruby-dbi, dbd-odbc, and ruby-odbc.

The CData ODBC Driver for AvaTax makes it easy to integrate connectivity to live AvaTax data in Ruby. This article shows how to create a simple Ruby app that connects to AvaTax data, executes a query, and displays the results.

Create an ODBC Connection to AvaTax Data

If you have not already, first specify connection properties in an ODBC DSN (data source name). This is the last step of the driver installation. You can use the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure ODBC DSNs.

The primary method for performing basic authentication is to provide your login credentials, as follows:

  • User: Set this to your username.
  • Password: Set this to your password.

Optionally, if you are making use of a sandbox environment, set the following:

  • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are authenticating with a sandbox account.

Authenticating Using Account Number and License Key

Alternatively, you can authenticate using your account number and license key. Connect to data using the following:

  • AccountId: Set this to your Account Id. The Account Id is listed in the upper right hand corner of the admin console.
  • LicenseKey: Set this to your Avalara Avatax license key. You can generate a license key by logging into Avalara Avatax as an account adminstrator and navigating to Settings -> Reset License Key.

Installing Ruby and Necessary Gems

If you do not have Ruby installed, refer to the Ruby installation page. With Ruby installed, you will need to install the ruby-dbi, dbd-odbc, and ruby-odbc gems:

gem install dbi gem install dbd-odbc gem install ruby-odbc

Create a Ruby App with Connectivity to AvaTax Data

Create a new Ruby file (for example: AvalaraAvataxSelect.rb) and open it in a text editor. Copy the following code into your file:

#connect to the DSN require 'DBI' cnxn = DBI.connect('DBI:ODBC:CData AvalaraAvatax Source','','') #execute a SELECT query and store the result set resultSet = cnxn.execute("SELECT Id, TotalTax FROM Transactions WHERE Code = '051349'") #display the names of the columns resultSet.column_names.each do |name| print name, "\t" end puts #display the results while row = resultSet.fetch do (0..resultSet.column_names.size - 1).each do |n| print row[n], "\t" end puts end resultSet.finish #close the connection cnxn.disconnect if cnxn

With the file completed, you are ready to display your AvaTax data with Ruby. To do so, simply run your file from the command line:

ruby AvalaraAvataxSelect.rb Writing SQL-92 queries to AvaTax allows you to quickly and easily incorporate AvaTax data into your own Ruby applications. Download a free trial today!