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Connect to FedEx Data in Google Apps Script

Use the CData Cloud Hub to access FedEx data in Google Apps Script.

Google Apps Script gives you the ability to create custom functionality within your Google documents, including Google Sheets, Google Docs, and more. With the CData Cloud Hub, you get a MySQL interface for any of the 170+ sources supported by CData, including FedEx. The MySQL protocol is natively supported through the JDBC service in Google Apps Script, so by utilizing the Cloud Hub, you gain access to live FedEx data within your Google documents.

This article shows how to create a virtual database for FedEx in the Cloud Hub and provides sample scripting for processing FedEx data in a Google Spreadsheet.

Our script only reads data from a specified table, but you can easily extend the script to incorporate update functionality.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for FedEx Data

CData Cloud Hub uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Cloud Hub and click Databases.
  2. Select "FedEx" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to FedEx.

    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
  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to connect to FedEx data from any MySQL client.

Connect to FedEx Data with Apps Script

At this point, you should have configured a virtual database for FedEx in the Cloud Hub. All that is left now is to use Google Apps Script to access the Cloud Hub and work with your FedEx data in Google Sheets.

In this section, you will create a script (with a menu option to call the script) to populate a spreadsheet with FedEx data. We have created a sample script and explained the different parts. You can view the raw script at the end of the article.

1. Create an Empty Script

To create a script for your Google Sheet, click Tools Script editor from the Google Sheets menu:

2. Declare Class Variables

Create a handful of class variables to be available for any functions created in the script.

//replace the variables in this block with real values as needed
var address = 'myinstance.cdatacloud.net:port';
var user = 'CLOUD_HUB_USER';
var userPwd = 'CLOUD_HUB_PASSWORD';
var db = 'fedexdb';
var serverSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslKey  = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';

var dbUrl = 'jdbc:mysql://' + address + '/' + db + '?useSSL=true';

3. Add a Menu Option

This function adds a menu option to your Google Sheet, allowing you to use the UI to call your function.

function onOpen() {
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
  var menuItems = [
    {name: 'Write data to a sheet', functionName: 'connectToFedExData'}
  ];
  spreadsheet.addMenu('FedEx Data', menuItems);
} 

4. Write a Helper Function

This function is used to find the first empty row in a spreadsheet.

/*
 * Finds the first empty row in a spreadsheet by scanning an array of columns
 * @return The row number of the first empty row.
 */
function getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(spreadSheet, column) {
  var column = spreadSheet.getRange(column + ":" + column);
  var values = column.getValues(); // get all data in one call
  var ct = 0;
  while ( values[ct] && values[ct][0] != "" ) {
    ct++;
  }
  return (ct+1);
}

5. Write a Function to Write FedEx Data to a Spreadsheet

The function below writes the FedEx data, using the Google Apps Script JDBC functionality to connect to the Cloud Hub, SELECT data, and populate a spreadsheet. When the script is run, two input boxes will appear:

The first one asks the user to input the name of a sheet to hold the data (if the spreadsheet does not exist, the function creates it).

The second asks the user to input the name of a FedEx table to read. If an invalid table is chosen, an error message appears and the function is exited.

Note, while the function is designed for use as a menu option, you can extend it for use as a spreadsheet formula.

/*
 * Reads data from a specified FedEx 'table' and writes it to the specified sheet.
 *    (If the specified sheet does not exist, it is created.)
 */
function connectToFedExData() {
  var thisWorkbook = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();

  //select a sheet and create it if it does not exist
  var selectedSheet = Browser.inputBox('Which sheet would you like the data to post to?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (selectedSheet == 'cancel')
    return;

  if (thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet) == null)
    thisWorkbook.insertSheet(selectedSheet);
  var resultSheet = thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet);
  var rowNum = 2;

  //select a FedEx 'table'
  var table = Browser.inputBox('Which table would you like to pull data from?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (table == 'cancel')
    return;

  var conn = Jdbc.getConnection(dbUrl, {
    user: user, 
    password: userPwd, 
    _serverSslCertificate: serverSslCert,
    _clientSslCertificate: clientSslCert,
    _clientSslKey:         clientSslKey
  );

  //confirm that var table is a valid table/view
  var dbMetaData = conn.getMetaData();
  var tableSet = dbMetaData.getTables(null, null, table, null);
  var validTable = false;
  while (tableSet.next()) {
    var tempTable = tableSet.getString(3);
    if (table.toUpperCase() == tempTable.toUpperCase()){
      table = tempTable;
      validTable = true;
      break;
    }
  } 
  tableSet.close();
  if (!validTable) {
    Browser.msgBox("Invalid table name: " + table, Browser.Buttons.OK);
    return;
  }

  var stmt = conn.createStatement();

  var results = stmt.executeQuery('SELECT * FROM ' + table);
  var rsmd = results.getMetaData();
  var numCols = rsmd.getColumnCount();

  //if the sheet is empty, populate the first row with the headers
  var firstEmptyRow = getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(resultSheet, "A");
  if (firstEmptyRow == 1) {
    //collect column names
    var headers = new Array(new Array(numCols));
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++){
      headers[0][col] = rsmd.getColumnName(col+1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(1, 1, headers.length, headers[0].length).setValues(headers);
  } else {
    rowNum = firstEmptyRow;
  }

  //write rows of FedEx data to the sheet
  var values = new Array(new Array(numCols));
  while (results.next()) {
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++) {
      values[0][col] = results.getString(col + 1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(rowNum, 1, 1, numCols).setValues(values);
    rowNum++;
  }

  results.close();
  stmt.close();
}
  

When the function is completed, you have a spreadsheet populated with your FedEx data, and you can now leverage all of the calculating, graphing, and charting functionality of Google Sheets anywhere you have access to the Internet.


Complete Google Apps Script

//replace the variables in this block with real values as needed
var address = 'myinstance.cdatacloud.net:port';
var user = 'CLOUD_HUB_USER';
var userPwd = 'CLOUD_HUB_PASSWORD';
var db = 'fedexdb';
var serverSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslCert = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';
var clientSslKey  = '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
...
-----END CERTIFICATE-----';

var dbUrl = 'jdbc:mysql://' + address + '/' + db + '?useSSL=true';

function onOpen() {
  var spreadsheet = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
  var menuItems = [
    {name: 'Write table data to a sheet', functionName: 'connectToFedExData'}
  ];
  spreadsheet.addMenu('FedEx Data', menuItems);
}

/*
 * Finds the first empty row in a spreadsheet by scanning an array of columns
 * @return The row number of the first empty row.
 */
function getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(spreadSheet, column) {
  var column = spreadSheet.getRange(column + ":" + column);
  var values = column.getValues(); // get all data in one call
  var ct = 0;
  while ( values[ct] && values[ct][0] != "" ) {
    ct++;
  }
  return (ct+1);
}

/*
 * Reads data from a specified 'table' and writes it to the specified sheet.
 *    (If the specified sheet does not exist, it is created.)
 */
function connectToFedExData() {
  var thisWorkbook = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();

  //select a sheet and create it if it does not exist
  var selectedSheet = Browser.inputBox('Which sheet would you like the data to post to?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (selectedSheet == 'cancel')
    return;

  if (thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet) == null)
    thisWorkbook.insertSheet(selectedSheet);
  var resultSheet = thisWorkbook.getSheetByName(selectedSheet);
  var rowNum = 2;

  //select a FedEx 'table'
  var table = Browser.inputBox('Which table would you like to pull data from?',Browser.Buttons.OK_CANCEL);
  if (table == 'cancel')
    return;

  var conn = Jdbc.getConnection(dbUrl, {
    user: user, 
    password: userPwd, 
    _serverSslCertificate: serverSslCert,
    _clientSslCertificate: clientSslCert,
    _clientSslKey:         clientSslKey
  );

  //confirm that var table is a valid table/view
  var dbMetaData = conn.getMetaData();
  var tableSet = dbMetaData.getTables(null, null, table, null);
  var validTable = false;
  while (tableSet.next()) {
    var tempTable = tableSet.getString(3);
    if (table.toUpperCase() == tempTable.toUpperCase()){
      table = tempTable;
      validTable = true;
      break;
    }
  } 
  tableSet.close();
  if (!validTable) {
    Browser.msgBox("Invalid table name: " + table, Browser.Buttons.OK);
    return;
  }

  var stmt = conn.createStatement();

  var results = stmt.executeQuery('SELECT * FROM ' + table);
  var rsmd = results.getMetaData();
  var numCols = rsmd.getColumnCount();

  //if the sheet is empty, populate the first row with the headers
  var firstEmptyRow = getFirstEmptyRowByColumnArray(resultSheet, "A");
  if (firstEmptyRow == 1) {
    //collect column names
    var headers = new Array(new Array(numCols));
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++){
      headers[0][col] = rsmd.getColumnName(col+1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(1, 1, headers.length, headers[0].length).setValues(headers);
  } else {
    rowNum = firstEmptyRow;
  }

  //write rows of FedEx data to the sheet
  var values = new Array(new Array(numCols));
  while (results.next()) {
    for (var col = 0; col < numCols; col++) {
      values[0][col] = results.getString(col + 1);
    }
    resultSheet.getRange(rowNum, 1, 1, numCols).setValues(values);
    rowNum++;
  }

  results.close();
  stmt.close();
}