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Use the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx in MicroStrategy Desktop

Connect to FedEx data in MicroStrategy Desktop using the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx.

MicroStrategy is an analytics and mobility platform that enables data-driven innovation. When paired with the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx, you gain database-like access to live FedEx data from MicroStrategy, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. In this article, we walk through adding FedEx as a data source in MicroStrategy Desktop and creating a simple visualization of FedEx data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live FedEx data in MicroStrategy due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from MicroStrategy to FedEx, the driver pushes supported SQL operations, like filters and aggregations, directly to FedEx and utilizes the embedded SQL Engine to process unsupported operations (often SQL functions and JOIN operations) client-side. With built-in dynamic metadata querying, you can visualize and analyze FedEx data using native MicroStrategy data types.

Connect to FedEx as an ODBC Data Source

Information for connecting to FedEx follows, along with different instructions for configuring a DSN in Windows and Linux environments.

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.

Windows

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.

Linux

If you are installing the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx in a Linux environment, the driver installation predefines a system DSN. You can modify the DSN by editing the system data sources file (/etc/odbc.ini) and defining the required connection properties.

/etc/odbc.ini

[CData FedEx Sys] Driver = CData ODBC Driver for FedEx Description = My Description 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'

For specific information on using these configuration files, please refer to the help documentation (installed and found online).

Connect to and Visualize FedEx Data using MicroStrategy Desktop

In addition to connecting FedEx in MicroStrategy enterprise products, you can connect to FedEx in MicroStrategy Desktop. Follow the steps below to add FedEx data as a dataset and create visualizations and reports of FedEx data.

  1. Open MicroStrategy Desktop and create a new dossier.
  2. In the datasets panel, click New Data, select Databases, and select Type a Query as the Import Option.
  3. Add a new data source and choose DSN data sources.
  4. Choose the DSN you previously configured (likely CData FedEx Sys) and select Generic DBMS in the Version menu.
  5. Set the User and Password properties for the DSN (or use placeholder values) and name the data source.
  6. Select the new database instance to view the tables. You may need to manually click the search icon in the Available Tables section to see the tables.
  7. Create a SQL query for the FedEx data (see below) and click Execute SQL to test the query. SELECT * FROM Senders NOTE: Since we create a live connection, we can execute a SELECT * query and utilize the filtering and aggregation features native to the MicroStrategy products.
  8. Click Finish and choose to connect live.
  9. Choose a visualization, choose fields to display (data types are discovered automatically through dynamic metadata discovery) and apply any filters to create a new visualization of FedEx data. Where possible, the complex queries generated by the filters and aggregations will be pushed down to FedEx, while any unsupported operations (which can include SQL functions and JOIN operations) will be managed client-side by the CData SQL Engine embedded in the driver.
  10. Once you are finished configuring the dossier, click File -> Save.

Using the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx in MicroStrategy Desktop, you can easily create robust visualizations and reports on FedEx data. Read our other articles on connecting to FedEx in MicroStrategy and connecting to FedEx in MicroStrategy Web for more examples.