Use the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx in SAS for Real-Time Reporting and Analytics

Connect to real-time FedEx data in SAS for reporting, analytics, and visualizations using the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx.

SAS is a software suite developed for advanced analytics, multivariate analysis, business intelligence, data management, and predictive analytics. When you pair SAS with the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx, you gain database-like access to live FedEx data from SAS, expanding your reporting and analytics capabilities. This articles walks through creating a library for FedEx in SAS and creating a simple report based on real-time FedEx data.

The CData ODBC Driver offers unmatched performance for interacting with live FedEx data in SAS due to optimized data processing built into the driver. When you issue complex SQL queries from SAS 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 easily visualize and analyze FedEx data in SAS.

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 (the ODBC Driver for FedEx must be installed on the machine hosting the SAS System).

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).

Create a FedEx Library in SAS

Connect to FedEx in SAS by adding a library based on the CData ODBC Driver for FedEx.

  1. Open SAS and expand Libraries in the Explorer pane.
  2. In the Active Libraries window, right-click and select New.
  3. Name your library (odbclib), select ODBC as the Engine, and click to Enable at startup (if you want the library to persist between sessions).
  4. Set Data Source to the DSN you previously configured and click OK.

Create a View from a FedEx Query

SAS natively supports querying data either using a low-code, point-and-click Query tool or programmatically with PROC SQL and a custom SQL query. When you create a View in SAS, the defining query is executed each time the view is queried. This means that you always query live FedEx data for reports, charts, and analytics.

Using the Query Tool

  1. In SAS, click Tools -> Query
  2. Select the table sources and the table(s) you wish to pull data from. Then, click OK.
  3. Select columns and right-click to add filtering, ordering, grouping, etc.
  4. Create a local view to contain the query results by right-clicking the SQL Query Tool window, selecting Show Query, and clicking Create View. Name the View and click OK.

Using PROC SQL

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC SQL to query the data and create a local view.
    NOTE: This procedure creates a view in the Work library. You can optionally specify a library in the create view statement.
    proc sql;
      create view senders_view as
      select 
        firstname, 
        phone 
      from 
        odbclib.senders 
      where 
        SenderID = 'ab26f704-5edf-4a9f-9e4c-25';
    quit;
    
  3. Click Run -> Submit to execute the query and create a local view.

Report On or Visualize FedEx Data in SAS

With a local view created, you can report, visualize, or otherwise analyze FedEx data using the powerful SAS features. Print a simple report using PROC PRINT and create a basic graph based on the data using PROC GCHART.

Print an HTML Report

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC PRINT to print an HTML report for the FedEx Senders data.
    proc print data=senders;
      title "FedEx Senders Data";
    run;
    

Print a Chart

  1. In SAS, navigate to the Editor window.
  2. Use PROC GCHART to create a chart for the Senders data.
    proc gchart data=senders;
      pie firstname / sumvar=phone
          value=arrow
          percent=arrow
          noheading
          percent=inside plabel=(height=12pt)
          slice=inside value=none
          name='SendersChart';
    run;