Connect to and Query FedEx Data in QlikView over ODBC

Create data visualizations with FedEx data in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers expand your ability to work with data from more than 160 data sources. QlikView is a business discovery platform that provides self-service BI for all business users in an organization. This article outlines simple steps to connect to FedEx data using the CData ODBC driver and create data visualizations in QlikView.

The CData ODBC drivers offer unmatched performance for interacting with live FedEx data in QlikView due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from QlikView 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 QlikView data types.

Connect to FedEx as an ODBC Data Source

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.

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.

Populate a Chart with FedEx Data

The steps below supply the results of an SQL query to a visualization in QlikView. In this article, you will create a bar chart with the query below:

SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = ab26f704-5edf-4a9f-9e4c-25
  1. Click File -> Edit Script (or click the Edit Script button in the Toolbar).
  2. On the Data tab, select ODBC in the Database menu and click Connect.
  3. Select the DSN (CData FedEx Sys) in the resulting dialog. A command like the following is generated: ODBC CONNECT TO [CData FedEx Sys];
  4. Enter the SQL query directly into the script with the SQL command (or click Select to build the query in the SELECT statement wizard). SQL SELECT FirstName, Phone FROM Senders WHERE SenderID = ab26f704-5edf-4a9f-9e4c-25;

    Where possible, the SQL operations in the query, like 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.

  5. Close the script editor and reload the document to execute the script.
  6. Click Tools -> Quick Chart Wizard. In the wizard, select the chart type. This example uses a bar chart. When building the chart, you have access to the fields from FedEx, typed appropriately for QlikView, thanks to built-in dynamic metadata querying.
  7. When defining Dimensions, select FirstName in the First Dimension menu.
  8. When defining Expressions, click the summary function you want and select Phone in the menu.
  9. Finish the wizard to generate the chart. The CData ODBC Driver for FedEx connects to live FedEx data, so the chart can be refreshed to see real-time changes. Live connections are possible and effective, thanks to the high-performance data processing native to CData ODBC Drivers.