Build Dashboards with FedEx Data in DBxtra

Create dynamic dashboards and perform analytics based on FedEx data in DBxtra.

The CData ODBC Driver for FedEx enables access to live data from FedEx under the ODBC standard, allowing you work with FedEx data in a wide variety of BI, reporting, and ETL tools and directly, using familiar SQL queries. This article shows how to connect to FedEx data as a generic ODBC Data Provider and create charts, reports, and dashboards based on FedEx data in DBxtra.

Connect to FedEx Data

  1. If you have not already done so, provide values for the required connection properties in the data source name (DSN). You can configure the DSN using the built-in Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator. This is also the last step of the driver installation. See the "Getting Started" chapter in the Help documentation for a guide to using the Microsoft ODBC Data Source Administrator to create and configure a DSN.

    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 DSN, 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.

  2. Open the DBxtra application and in the New menu click Project and name the Project.
  3. Select ODBC Connection as the Data Connection Type.
  4. Click the browse option () for the Data Source.
  5. In the Data Link Properties window, select Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers on the Provider tab.
  6. On the Connection tab, select the Data Source Name and the initial catalog to use (CData).
  7. Name the Connection and select the appropriate User Groups.
  8. Double-click the Connection from within the Project to connect to the data.

Create a Dashboard with FedEx Data

You are now ready to create a dashboard with FedEx data.

  1. Right-click Report Objects under the Project and select New Report Object.
  2. In the new Report Object, click the link to create the Query.
  3. In the Select Data Connection window, select the newly created data connection.
  4. On the Query tab, expand the connection objects and select the Tables, Views, and specific columns you wish to include in your dashboard. You can specify search requirements and even create complex queries which include JOINs and aggregations.
  5. On the Dashboard tab, select the visualizations and features for your dashboard. Assign the data values from the query to the appropriate fields for the Dashboards items (Values, Series, etc.)

With a new Dashboard created, you are ready to begin analysis of FedEx data. Thanks to the ODBC Driver for FedEx, you can refresh the Dashboard and immediately see any changes made at the source. In the same way, you can create and view Reports with live, up-to-date FedEx data.