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DataBind Charts to FedEx Data

Use the standard ADO.NET procedures for databinding to provide bidirectional access to FedEx data from controls in the Visual Studio toolbox. This article demonstrates a graphical approach using wizards in Visual Studio, as well as how to databind with only a few lines of code.

DataBinding enables bidirectional access to data from UI controls. You can use the CData ADO.NET Provider for FedEx to easily databind FedEx data to Windows Forms and Web controls in Visual Studio. This article shows how to use wizards to databind FedEx data to a chart that reflects any changes. The code walk-through section shows how to create a chart in 10 lines of code.

DataBind to a Chart

DataBinding consists of three steps: Instantiate the control, configure the data source, and databind.

Configure the Connection and Select Database Objects

Follow the procedure below to use the Data Source Configuration Wizard to create a chart control and the connection to FedEx. In the wizard, you can select the FedEx entities you want to databind.

  1. In a Windows Forms project, drag and drop a Chart control from the toolbox to the form. In the Data section of the Chart properties, select DataSource and then select Add Project Data Source from the menu.
  2. In the Data Source Configuration Wizard that appears, select Database -> Dataset.
  3. In the Choose Your Data Connection step, click New Connection.
  4. In the Add Connection dialog, click Change to select the CData FedEx Data Source.

    Below is a typical connection string:

    Server='https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/xml';DeveloperKey='alsdkfjpqoewiru';Password='zxczxqqtyiuowkdlkn';AccountNumber='110371337';MeterNumber='240134349'; PrintLabelLocation='C:\users\username\documents\mylabels';CacheProvider='org.sqlite.JDBC';CacheConnection='jdbc:sqlite:C:\users\username\documents\fedexcache.db';

    There are five pieces of information needed in order to authenticate its actions with the FedEx service. This information is below.

    • Server: This controls the URL where the requests should be sent. Common testing options for this are: "https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/xml", "https://wsbeta.fedex.com:443/xml", "https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/web-service", and "https://wsbeta.fedex.com:443/web-service"
    • DeveloperKey: This is the identifier part of the authentication key for the sender's identity. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
    • Password: This is the secret part of the authentication key for the sender's identity. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
    • AccountNumber: This valid 9-digit FedEx account number is used for logging into the FedEx server.
    • MeterNumber: This value is used for submitting requests to FedEx. This value will be provided to you by FedEx after registration.
    • PrintLabelLocation: This property is required if one intends to use the GenerateLabels or GenerateReturnLabels stored procedures. This should be set to the folder location where generated labels should be stored.

    The Cache Database

    Many of the useful tasks available from FedEx require a lot of data. To ensure this data is easy to input and recall later, utilizes a cache database to make these requests. You must set the cache connection properties:

    • CacheProvider: The specific database you are using to cache with. For example, org.sqlite.JDBC.
    • CacheConnection: The connection string to be passed to the cache provider. For example, jdbc:sqlite:C:\users\username\documents\fedexcache.db

    When you configure the connection, you may also want to set the Max Rows connection property. This will limit the number of rows returned, which is especially helpful for improving performance when designing reports and visualizations.

  5. Choose the database objects you want to work with. This example uses the Senders table.

DataBind

After adding the data source and selecting database objects, you can bind the objects to the chart. This example assigns the x-axis to FirstName and the y-axis to Phone.

  1. In the Chart properties, click the button in the Series property to open the Series Collection Editor.
  2. In the Series properties, select the columns you want for the x- and y-axes: Select columns from the menu in the XValueMember and YValueMember properties.

The chart is now databound to the FedEx data. Run the chart to display the current data.

Code Walk-through

DataBinding to FedEx data requires only a few lines of code and can be completed in three easy steps.

  1. Connect to FedEx.
  2. Create the FedExDataAdapter to execute the query and create a DataSet to be filled with its results.
  3. DataBind the result set to the chart.

Below is the complete code:

FedExConnection conn = new FedExConnection("Server='https://gatewaybeta.fedex.com:443/xml';DeveloperKey='alsdkfjpqoewiru';Password='zxczxqqtyiuowkdlkn';AccountNumber='110371337';MeterNumber='240134349'; PrintLabelLocation='C:\users\username\documents\mylabels';CacheProvider='org.sqlite.JDBC';CacheConnection='jdbc:sqlite:C:\users\username\documents\fedexcache.db';"); FedExCommand comm = new FedExCommand("SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = ab26f704-5edf-4a9f-9e4c-25", conn); FedExDataAdapter da = new FedExDataAdapter(comm); DataSet dataset = new DataSet(); da.Fill(dataset); chart1.DataSource = dataset; chart1.Series[0].XValueMember = "FirstName"; chart1.Series[0].YValueMembers = "Phone"; // Insert code for additional chart formatting here. chart1.DataBind();