Build a Simple VCL Application for FedEx Data

How to build a simple VCL Application to view FedEx data in RAD Studio using the CData FireDAC Components for FedEx.

Embarcadero RAD Studio provides a development environment for Delphi and C++Builder applications. With the CData FireDAC Components for FedEx, you gain access to live FedEx data within RAD Studio, abstracting the data into tables, views, and stored procedures that can be used to retrieve and update FedEx data. This article will walk through connecting to FedEx and creating a simple VCL application with the Form Designer.

Creating a VCL Application for FedEx Data

The following instructions show how to use the Form Designer to create a simple VCL Forms application that shows the basic FireDAC objects needed to connect to FedEx from any application.

The following example populates a TDBGrid control.

  1. Create a new VCL Forms Application.
  2. Drop a TFDPhysFedExDriverLink and TFDConnection object onto the form.
  3. Double-click the TFDConnection object. The FireDAC Connection Editor is displayed. Select "CData.FedEx" in the DriverId menu and configure the connection properties.

    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. Drop a TFDQuery object onto the form and set the properties below:

    • Connection - Set this property to the TFDConnection object, if this object is not already specified.
    • SQL - Click the button in the SQL property and enter a query.
    • Active - Set this property to true.
  5. Drop a TDataSource object onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSet - In the menu for this property, select the name of the TFDQuery object.
  6. Drop a TDBGrid control onto the form and set the following property:

    • DataSource - Select the name of the TDataSource.
  7. Drop a TFDGUIxWaitCursor onto the form. This is required to avoid a run-time error.

You now have an executable application that displays the results of the SQL Query set in the TFDQuery object.